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Full text of "Letters of Henry Brevoort to Washington Irving, together with other unpublished Brevoort papers"

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Cornell University Library 
PS 2081.A42 1918 

Letters o« Henry Brevoort to Vj[MhM^ 

3 1924 022 056 786 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tlie Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 






Tl>C,B-r -R Wl LH OTT.r UNP 1 ISHEJ 

Jean Kenwick 

Prom the painting by John Wesley Jarvis 

(Mrs. Renwick, the cherished friend of both Irving and Brevoort, 
was, in her girlhood, as Jean Jeffrey, celebrated in poems by 
Robert Bums. This portrait is reproduced by the courtesy of 
her great-granddaaflMter, Mrs. R<»beIt'r^ag»ictei>^■ . SY 












Zbe iRnicRetbocKet pteas 


Copyright, 191& 



First published ia 1916, in two volumes, in a Limited Edition 
of 310 sets. Now issued in a Library Edition, the two volumes 
in one. 

Autumo, 1918. 

Ube finfcfietliocliet press, Dew Hatlt 


In 1915, G. P. Putnam's Sons brought into 
publication, in a specially printed edition, the 
letters written by Washington Irving to his 
friend Henry Brevoort. The editorial re- 
sponsibility for the two volumes rested with 
Mr. George S. Hellman. The public showed 
a favorable and immediate interest in the 
volumes and the edition was exhausted within 
a few days of its publication. Encouraged by 
the interest expressed in this series of letters, 
the publishers are glad to be able to present, 
under the same editorial supervision, the other 
side of this distinctive correspondence, the 
letters of Henry Brevoort to Washington 
Irving. The Editor, Mr. Hellman, was for- 
tunate enough to come into relations at the 
Groher Club with Mr. Grenville Kane, who 


spoke with interest and with approval of the 
volumes of the Irving-Brevoort Letters. Mr. 
Kane advised Mr. Hellman that he had in his 
possession the letters of his grandfather, Mr. 
Henry Brevoort, and, with the characteristic 
liberality of a student of history and of a 
lover of books, he offered to place this series 
of letters at the. disposal of Mr. Hellman for 
publication as a companion work. Mr. Hell- 
man realized how important the publication 
of these letters would be in completing the 
record of this historic friendship. 

Of the series of Irving Letters, a portion — 
although only a small portion — came into 
publication in Pierre M. Irving's Life and 
Letters of his Uncle, but the letters of Bre- 
ivoort are practically unknown to the public. 
In the four volumes of the Irving Biography, 
Pierre Irving had been able to make place for 
but three pages of the Brevoort material. 
This series of letters presents a distinctive and 
original record of the social, literary, and 


dramatic events in New York and ,in the 
literary circles of the Republic during the first 
half of the nineteenth century. A few letters 
belonging to the years 1808, 1809 and 1810 
are missing, but the series is substantially 

The pubUshers desire to express their obliga- 
tions to Mr. Grenville Kane for his gracious 
action in permitting them now to be brought 
into print. 

Acknowledgments are also due to another 
member of the Brevoort family, Mrs. Robert 
Sedgwick, through whom have been secured 
excerpts from letters written by her grand- 
mother Margaret, who was the sister of Henry 
Brevoort and who became the wife of Pro- 
fessor James Renwick. Margaret Brevoort 
was a charming correspondent, and the Editor 
has been glad to utilize in his pages passages 
from these lively and characteristic letters. 
The publishers desire also to express their 
appreciation of Mrs. Sedgwick's courtesy in 


placing at their service the portrait by Jarvis 
of Mrs. Renwick, now in the home of her 
great-granddaughter, Mrs. Sedgwick; and of 
Mr. Kane's similar courtesy in regard to 
the portrait by Rembrandt Peale of Henry 
Brevoort. These portraits are now for the 
first time reproduced. 

G. H. P. 

New York, July, 191 6. 


The letters of Henry Brevoort to Washing- 
ton Irving constitute a body of manuscripts 
of exceptional interest; and this, from many 
points of view. He touches, with a liter- 
ary grace and a sense of humor almost equal 
to those of his famous and well-loved friend, 
on topics intimately interwoven with the cul- 
tural, the commercial, and the political devel- 
opment of America during the first half of the 
nineteenth century. For many readers, how- 
ever, the most immediate charm of these 
letters will reside in their social aspect, in 
Brevoort's faculty for conjuring up to us of a 
later age the Hving presentments of the men 
and women in whom Irving and he were most 
interested. Old families of New York, early 
writers, actors, statesmen, artists, again cross 
from the land of shadows, and carry us along 


familiar highways and fascinating byways 
of our city's past. 

Brevoort was bom in September, 1782, 
some six months prior to the birth of Irving; 
he married in 181 7 Laura Carson of South 
CaroHna; in 1848 he died, and lies buried in 
Trinity Cemetery. His father, old Henry 
Brevoort, was a notable character, a man of 
such influence and determination that to 
meet his wishes the city authorities deflected 
Broadway and omitted to lay out that part of 
Eleventh Street on which faced the Brevoort 
homestead. Generations of this family have 
been prominent in New York, allied in many 
directions with other distinguished families. 
In journalism and in historical writings both 
Irving's friend Henry and his son Carson 
Brevoort adventured with success, while Mrs. 
Brevoort's fancy dress ball (given in 1840 
in the mansion which still stands at the 
corner of Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue) 
was the most splendid social affair of the 


first half of the nineteenth century in New 

It is, however, in connection with Irving 
that the name of this old Dutch family will 
longest be remembered in the larger world of 
letters; and it is indeed fortunate that the 
record of so deHghtful a friendship can be 
amplified by the Brevoort manuscripts, thus 
at last, after the recent publication of Irving's 
epistles, rounding out their correspondence. 

The first letter among those preserved in the 
family archives was written in New York at 
the beginning of the year 1811, and was re- 
ceived by Irving during his stay at Washing- 
ton where he was the guest of John P. Van 
Ness, one time mayor of that city. Although 
Irving had written to Brevoort on January' 
13th a lengthy letter recounting the trip by 
stage from New York to Baltimore and thence 
to Washington, his missive had not as yet 
reached Brevoort six days later in New York. 
Delivery of communications takes fewer hours 


now than days then; and the journey to 
Washington is called by Brevoort a pilgrimage, 
and Irving "an eastern sovereign travelling 
through his vast dominion." 

It is an interesting coincidence that the 
first of these letters to the first internationally 
recognized American author should be taken 
up with lengthy comment concerning a pub- 
lication that was the first quarterly issued in 
the United States. Robert Walsh's magazine, 
The American Review of History & Politics, 
began that department of our literature which 
has now assumed such large proportions. 
Corroborative of the paucity of original work 
by American authors was the initial number 
of Walsh's journal, which in its literary 
columns could find little home talent to 

The non-partisan Americanism (an unusual 
trait in those days) that characterized Irving 
is similarly manifest in Brevoort's comments 
concerning Walsh's attack on the admin- 


istration of James Madison. As the corre- 
spondence proceeds we shall see how, often 
not alone in tastes, but essentially in temper- 
ament, Irving and Brevoort were akin. Both 
these men combined with large fair-minded- 
ness and all absence of intemperate party 
feeling a decided reticence that makes their 
comparatively unguarded interchange of 
thought the most striking evidence of the 
deep affection which bound them together. 

Of the New York people who make their 
far-off bow to us in Brevoort's opening letter, 
the most noted is DeWitt Clinton, then Vice- 
President of the United States, and almost 
at the termination of his long and distin- 
guished life. Gulian C. Verplanck also enters ; 
and him we shall meet often in this corre- 
spondence; nor has his reputation as historical 
student and critic altogether faded out of the 
memory of old New Yorkers. Perhaps, how- 
ever, he is best remembered for his indignation 
at Irving's Knickerbocker's History, which 


Verplanck condemned as an unfair caricature 
of Dutch manners and character. 

Two ladies who figure in this same letter, 
as in so many of those from Irving, are Mrs. 
Renwick and Mrs. Hoffman, the latter the 
mother of Matilda whose early death had 
robbed Irving of his fianc6e; the former a 
woman who in her girlhood had been immor- 
talized in the songs of Robert Bums, and who 
throughout her long, brilliant, and brave life 
retained in extraordinary degree the admira- 
tion and affection of both Irving and Brevoort. 

The letter of the following month is devoted 
almost entirely to matters of the drama, and 
the account of the dinner given by Cooke, 
the actor, is one of the most delectable anec- 
dotes in the record of the New York stage. 
In November, 1810, George Frederick Cooke 
made his first appearance in America, in the 
character of Richard III., and began a second 
engagement at the Park Theatre on the ist 
of February, i8ii, as Shylock. This brilliant 



Irishman was perhaps the greatest of the early 
actors in New York. The monument erected 
to his memory through the generosity of 
Edmund Kean still stands in St. Paul's 
Churchyard on Broadway, and brings him to 
the minds of some of the more leisurely passers- 
by among the hurrying throngs of to-day. 

In far different vein is the next missive. 
Brevoort has left New York and is now 
associated with John Jacob Astor in the fur 
trade. He writes to Irving from Mackinac 
and gives notable descriptions of his canoe 
trip from Montreal. A second letter from 
Mackinac takes up a topic which, even after 
the passage of more than a century, we Ameri- 
cans cannot contemplate without a sense of 
regret bordering on shame. The treatment 
of the Indians by the early settlers involved 
acts often ruthless and sometimes criminally 
aggressive; and Brevoort's intense desire to 
mitigate the wrongs suffered by the Indians 
had a humane as well as a practical basis. 


Even Jefferson, who during his administration 
had shown himself generally fair-minded to- 
wards the red men, so shared in his country- 
men's wish to acquire Indian territory as to 
condone acts which were essentially deeds of 
unjustifiable barter. The French under Na- 
poleon, as well as the English, treated the 
savages with more consideration. The Ameri- 
cans, at the time of Brevoort's letter, were 
committing acts, both in hunting upon Indian 
territory and in acquiring that territory, 
leading inevitably to Indian warfare. The 
expostulations of men like Brevoort could not 
avail in stopping a procedure which we must 
to this day shield under the doubtful aegis 
of the phrase: "survival of the fittest." 

Brevoort's letter has an amusing paragraph 
wherein he invokes divine Apollo to avert his 
face from Irving (whom Brevoort calls the 
"renowned Knickerbocker") until his friend 
shall have finished his clerical work and turned 
again from commerce to literature; and, fur- 


ther on, there is another reference to Irving's 
Knickerbocker's History, which had already 
found its way into the far outposts of the 
Indian territory. 

In the third of these Mackinac letters Bre- 
voort continues his advocacy of the rights of 
the tribes and gives a vi-vid account of a 
scene in which an Indian magician gets in 
touch with one of his Manitoos; but, for us, 
the most notable paragraph in this letter is 
that in which Bfevoort dwells on the magic 
"contained in that honest little word ' home.' " 
Irving's own letters reveal the same sentiment 
similarly expressed. 

The lines of July 29*^* conclude in lighter 
vein the fourth of this group of Mackinac let- 
ters, a series in itself delightful, and of special 
note if we accept the family tradition that 
Brevoort was the first New Yorker of any 
eminence to dwell on that island. 

After he had returned to New York, Bre- 
voort's parents offered him what was then 


considered the greatest of opportunities: a 
visit to Europe. He sets out, and, at Paris, 
his next letter to Irving is dated April, 1812. 
The war then in progress between England 
and France of course led to many exagger- 
ations and misstatements in the English press, 
from which Americans gained a wrong idea 
of the conditions of the French peasantry, — 
much as (although with more truth) it has 
been England's policy to emphasize the eco- 
nomic hardships of her enemies in the present 
war. Brevoort gives Irving reliable and first- 
hand information, adding to his remarks con- 
cerning the peasantry news relating to the 
Emperor and his plan of campaign. We 
meet with personal descriptions of Napoleon 
and the Empress, whom Brevoort saw at the 
opera, and to whom, much to his indignation, 
he was not introduced, because of the neg- 
lect of Mr. Barlow. His interest in new 
scenes does not make him forgetful of Irving's 
affairs, and in his request for copies of Knicker- 


backer's History and Salmagundi for pre- 
sentation to Madame D'Arblay we have the 
earUest evidence of Brevoort's continued ac- 
tivities in furthering the Hterary fame of his 

It was but six weeks after the date of this 
letter that the War of 1 8 1 2 began, only five days 
before Great Britain's Orders in Council (the 
immediate cause of the conflict) were repealed. 
Worthy of notice is it that in Brevoort's 
letters from Europe during the years 18 12 and 
1 8 13 the war with Great Britain plays a minor 
part, so much more does he seem to be inter- 
ested in matters of literature, science, and art ; 
but that neither he nor Irving was devoid of 
the patriotic spirit which animated the young 
men of those times is proved by Brevoort's 
acceptance of a commission as Lieutenant in 
the "Iron Greys" and Irving's service as 
Military Attach6 on the staff of Governor 

The Edinburgh letter of December 12th, 



1 8 1 2 , begins with a reference to living's brother 
Peter, who, throughout this correspondence, 
is often alluded to as the "Doctor," a title 
due to some early medical studies, and kept up 
by his friends as the nickname by which he 
was known among that small coterie of happy 
youths whom Washington Irving called the 
"Lads of Kilkenny" and whom Paulding 
generally referred to as the "Ancient & Hon- 
orable Order" and the "Ancient Club of New 
York." Almost all of these nine youths 
figure so frequently in the letters of the two 
friends that it may be well to recall some of 
the circimistances of their early association, 
and their familiar appellations. 

An old wooden mansion near the then village 
of Newark had been inherited by Gouvemeur 
Kemble from his mother's brother, Isaac 
Gouvemeur, and here, in this "Bachelors' 
Hall" or "Bachelors' Nest," there met fre- 
quently the following group of merry young 
New Yorkers: 


Henry Brevoort, nicknamed "Nuncle," 

James K. Paulding " "Billy Taylor," 

Gouvemeur Kemble " "The Patroon," 

David Porter " "Sinbad," 

Henry Ogden " "Supercargo," 

Richard McCall " "Oorombates," 

Ebenezer Irving " "Capt. Grealheart," 

Peter Irving " "The Doctor," 

and, finally, Washington Irving who, as Gen- 
eral James Grant Wilson has suggested, 
having no alias, was probably responsible for 
the titles of the other members of the club. 
To Newark they would often set forth in stage- 
coaches, and the pranks and pastimes of those 
early days at " Cockloft Hall " never faded out 
of the memory of the participants in its 
pleasures. Washington Irving, in alluding, 
towards the end of his life, to the gay hours 
spent there, said to his old friend Gouvemeur 
Kemble: "Who would have thought that we 
should ever have lived to be two such re- 
spectable old gentlemen? " 

Reverting to Brevoort's first letter from 
Edinburgh, we find him, after some caustic 


comments regarding the great critic Jefifrey, 
giving Irving an enthusiastic description of a 
meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 
then immersed in a spirited discussion con- 
cerning opposing theories of fire and water, 
a controversy bringing to mind some of the 
early Greek philosophies. There is mention, 
also, of the portrait of Mrs. Renwick by Jarvis, 
now reproduced through the gracious courtesy 
of her great-granddaughter Mrs. R. Sedgwick. 
John Leslie Jarvis, bom in England in 1780, 
came in early life to America, where his pic- 
tures, painted for the most part in New York 
and in the southern cities, made him one of the 
very popular artists of the last century's 
early decades. DeWitt Clinton, John Ran- 
dolph, and FitzGreene Halleck were among 
the distinguished men who sat for him prior to 
his death in New York in 1840; but nowhere 
is the charm of his work more evident than in 
the portrait of Mrs. Renwick. 

The next letter from Edinburgh, dated 


March i^*, 1813, is not alone the lengthiest 
epistle in the entire Irving-Brevoort corre- 
spondence, but is in all probability the most 
extensive letter of its kind ever written either 
to Irving or to any other American author. 
Beginning in a vein of sentiment mingled 
with humor, with amusing references to the 
well-recoUected table in Brevoort's library 
at Mrs. Ryckman's lodgings, (a room then 
occupied in soUtary splendor by Irving,) Bre- 
voort soon launches into an account of liter- 
ary and theatrical affairs. He sees Kemble 
perform; meets him at Walter Scott's, and 
hears him expound the principles of the drama. 
Mrs, Siddons; Talma; Clairon, the French ac- 
tress; David Garrick; Cooke, Lister, Mathews, 
and Braham, with other comedians and trage- 
dians famous in the record of the stage, enter 
these pages, emphasizing anew how keenly 
interested both Brevoort and Irving were in 
the art of the actor, — ^an art which Irving, 
during his stay at Dresden in 1823, sought to 


emulate in more than one amateur perform- 
ance. In the course of this talk of actors and 
acting, we find Brevoort quoting a phrase of 
Kemble's that deserves to be perpetuated on 
account of its felicity. Speaking of Cooke's 
journal, Kemble confided to Brevoort that its 
reliability was not to be accepted, as Cooke 
"was prone to draw upon his drtmken imagina- 
tion for his sober facts." 

A man of letters who figures in a passing 
way in this epistle is William Roscoe (whose 
name Brevoort spells "Rosco" — this being 
only one instance of numerous misspellings 
both as to proper and common names, errors 
which have been preserved in the text of these 
voliomes). While Roscoe is remembered 
among historians by reason of his lives of Lo- 
renzo de' Medici and Leo X., he has a more 
appealing claim on lovers of books because of a 
poem which he wrote after pecuniary troubles 
forced him to dispose of his cherished library; 
and as it is a poem which seems to have been 


almost lost sight of in the course of time, one 
may be pardoned for yielding to personal 
predilection in reprinting it here. 



As one who, destined from his Friends to part. 
Regrets his loss, yet hopes again erewhile 
To share their converse and enjoy their smile, 
And tempers, as he may, Affliction's dart, — 
Thus, loved associates! Chiefs of elder art! 
Teachers of wisdom! who could once beguile 
My tedious hoiurs, and Ughten every toil, 
I now resign you; nor with fainting heart — 
For, pass a few short years, or days, or hotirs, 
And happier seasons may their dawn unfold, 
And all yotir sacred fellowship restore; 
When, freed from earth, unlimited its powers, 
Mind shall with Mind direct communion hold, 
And kindred spirits meet to part no more. 

But a far greater author than Roscoe comes 
in for extended comment in Brevoort's Edin- 
burgh letter. It is here that he gives a notable 
portrait of Walter Scott, writing of him that 
"Scott is the man of my choice; he has not a 


grain of pride or affectation in his whole make- 
up. Neither the voice of fame nor the 
homage of the great have altered in the least 
the native simplicity of his heart. His days 
are spent in the domestic endearments of an 
amiable family and in the society of a few 
selected friends whom he entertains like 
Maecenas, and never fails to delight by setting 
an example of perfect good htimour and harm- 
less conviviality." In a further paragraph 
Brevoort informs Irving of a bit of news that 
may be unfamiliar even to some of Scott's 
present-day admirers — that Scott was a drama- 
tist as well as a poet and a novelist, Erskine 
having in his possession "an important tra- 
gedy written many years ago. " To this same 
William Erskine, suspected in literary circles 
of Edinburgh as being the author of the 
Bridal of Triermain, Scott addressed the 
introduction to Marmion. 

We shall soon see how Brevoort's liking for 
Francis Jeffrey, then famous as the caustic 


editor of the Edinburgh Review, and later 
eminent as Lord Advocate for Scotland, in- 
creased to such an extent that when JeflErey 
visited America he brought with him many- 
letters of introduction from Brevoort; but in 
the present missive, Brevoort's opinion of 
Jeffrey led him, with full recognition of the 
great critic's brilliancy of conversation, to 
emphasize his foibles and to recognize with 
keen vision that Jeffrey "is blessed with such 
an immaculate degree of taste as to contemn 
everything in the whole world both morally 
and physically," — ^an epigrammatic analysis 
much to the point. 

Apart from Scott, the man in Edinburgh 
who most decidedly roused the enthusiasm 
of the yotmg New Yorker was Professor 
Playfair, a Scottish mathematician and 
natural philosopher whom Jeffrey describes 
as "possessing in the highest degree all 
of the characteristics both of a fine and 
beautiful understanding"; — ^while Brevoort 



writes of him that he is "a man who unites 
the profundity of a Newton with the simple 
soul of D'Alembert, whom it would be as 
impossible to describe as it would be vain to 
imitate." This is as ardent an expression of 
admiration as Brevoort ever voiced; and in 
our own days, when, even among scholars, the 
murky clouds of war have in all countries 
dimmed the faculty of impartial judgment, one 
likes to think that Brevoort's enthusiasm for 
this great Scottish man of science was based 
on the intellectuality, catholicity, the dominat- 
ing liberality of Playfair (whose very name is 
sentient with significance, like the characters 
in Pilgrim's Progress). There is no lovelier 
tribute from a scholar to his teacher than in 
those lines where Brevoort writes: "His mind 
is lifted above all National prejudices. He 
sees and encourages merit from any quarter 
of the globe with an equal eye of approbation 
and will condescend to receive the opinions of 
a child. ' ' Nor shall we forget that when these 


words were written Europe was involved in the 
Napoleonic period's titanic struggle. 

Many personages known to fame are present 
in the next letter, written June 24**^, 1813, at 
London, where Brevoort, accompanied by 
Peter Irving, had arrived a fortnight earlier. 
Distinguished women figure preponderantly 
in these pages. Brevoort meets Joanna 
Bailey and Miss Edgeworth; sees, at Drury 
Lane Theatre, the great Madame de Stael 
with her "very reverend black beard and fea- 
tures that correspond to it"; hears Mrs. 
Siddons read the whole play of Hamlet; 
describes Madame D'Arblay whose Evelina, 
now almost forgotten, vied in popularity with 
the works of her rival French novelists. His 
words concerning the sublimity of Mrs. 
Siddons' art, when "the theatre echoed with 
sobs and shrieks and 'Bravos,'" recall the 
emotional power of that supreme tragic ac- 
tress of England ; and this intense scene finds 
an amusing contrast in the following para- 



graph where we read of a travesty on Hamlet, 
acted at Lister's benefit, in which Ophelia 
presents to the King and Queen a bunch of 
parsnips and a head of cabbage — ^mtmching 
the while "a stout turnip." 

Of the memorable men who here pass 
through Brevoort's pages the poet Campbell, 
the philosopher Sir James Mackintosh (one 
of whose writings, translated by Madame de 
Stael, influenced Europe's opinion of Napo- 
leon), the astronomer Herschel, the Swedish 
Ambassador De Kantzow, and John Howard 
Paytie, actor and author, whose Home, Sweet 
Home assures his fame, attest the variety of 
circles to which Brevoort had admittance. 
Here, also, we find mention of introductory 
letters for Francis Jeffrey. But most impor- 
tant of all is that brief paragraph in which 
Brevoort tells Irving that he had given Walter 
Scott a copy of Knickerbocker's History and 
that he was enclosing Scott's letter in reference 
to Irving's work. 


Although this letter is familiar to students, 
of Irving's life, and its importance in the his- 
tory of American literature well understood, 
there is in this connection an interesting cir- 
cumstance that has, it would seem, never yet 
fotind its way into any biography of Irving. 
Brevoort writes that he had sent Irving's 
volume to Scott "in return for some very rare 
books that he gave me respecting the early 
History of New England. ' ' These books were 
presented to Brevoort as a result of conversa- 
tions in which Brevoort had related to Scott 
presumably those very experiences among the 
Indian nations which are recorded in the mis- 
sives written to Irving from Mackinac. Scott 
haid at one time inten'ded to write on the Ameri- 
can Indian, but later gave up the idea; and 
finding how much immediate and personal 
information Brevoort had on this subject, he 
donated to his young American friend his own 
rare books on early New England history, in 
the hope, no doubt, that Brevoort himself 


would some day issue some such work as had 
been the subject of their conversations. This 
hope played through Brevoort's mind at 
various intervals throughout his life; and, 
when we consider his decided talent for writing, 
we must regret that later cares and responsi- 
bilities prevented its fruition. 
I A number of years intervene between Bre- 
voort's London letter and that which here 
succeeds it, a letter written from New York 
in 1818. In the meantime Brevoort had re- 
turned to his native city and Irving had left it. 
Not till 1830 was Brevoort to revisit Europe, 
two years prior to Irving's return, after an 
absence of seventeen years, to America. Dur- 
ing their lengthy separation Brevoort re- 
mained ever loyal to the interests of Irving, 
ever ready to put his intellectual as well as 
his financial resources at the disposal of his 

' This part of their correspondence begins 
with an account of a scurrilous attack on 


Brevoort in the form of an advertisement in a 
newspaper, an attack which Brevoort met by 
personally chastising the offender, who seems 
to have been a man unworthy of being chal- 
lenged, in the usual manner of the day, to a 
duel. A duel is, however, mentioned in the 
same letter — that between Perry and Heath, 
brave men both, where Perry, to make re- 
paration for his wrongful attack on Heath, 
restores his own self-respect by receiving, 
without returning, the fire of his opponent. 
Brevoort 's letter abounds in all manner of 
personal news so welcome to the absent Irving. 
Paulding; the Renvicks; Jack Nicholson, the 
"jolly Tar"; Miss Bradish, the daughter of 
their old landlady; Gouvemeur Kemble; the 
painter Jarvis, and others pass in review; while 
Irving's old chief, Daniel D. Tompkins, now 
Vice-President under Monroe, asks Brevoort 
solicitously concerning Irving and expresses a 
desire, that friends were so often to reiterate, 
for his speedy return to America. 


With Brevoort's next two letters we arrive 
at a significant period in their long friendship 
when matters concerning the publication of 
the Sketch Book were undertaken and carried 
through largely by Brevoort, who purchased 
the paper, attended to the proof sheets, and 
made arrangements with publishers and book- 
sellers ; thus in many ways rendering assistance 
to Irving at a time when, after the shattering 
of his prospects in commercial life, success 
along literary lines was so necessary and 
determining a factor in his career. Nor were 
Brevoort's services limited to the immediate 
phases of manufacture and sale, for it was he 
who wrote a commendatory article in the 
Evening Post, which led Irving in his letter of 
September 9*^, 18 19, to say how he had been 
touched by the manner in which the editor of 
the Post had noticed him. 

Many families besides that of the Irvings 
felt the economic hardships of those years, 
and in his following letter Brevoort recounts 



how "the whole aspect of domestic life has 
changed since you left us — all the ordinary- 
sources of industry seem to have closed — a 
great portion of the Houses of the City are to 
let and the inhabitants obliged to seek a liveli- 
hood elsewhere." He adds, however, that 
even amid the pressure of the times, Irving's 
work increases in popiilarity; and with char- 
acteristic good judgment he speaks of the 
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, (which had just 
appeared,)"^ as "one of the best articles you 
have ever written. " 

In this letter Brevoort sent a pamphlet 
which must have both interested and depressed 
Irving: the correspondence between Decatur 
and Barron. Both Decatur and his wife, it 
will be remembered, had been fellow lodgers 
of Irving and Brevoort in Rector Street, and 
Decatur had wished to have Irving accept an 
appointment at Washington in connection 
with the Naval Board. While serving on the 
Board of Navy Commissioners, Decatur had 


made some remarks criticizing Commodore 
Barron — remarks which, in spite of the long 
correspondence that followed between the two 
men, led to a challenge which Decatur felt 
obliged to accept. Twelve years earlier, Deca- 
tur had served as a member of a court-martial 
appointed to try Barron for having sur- 
rendered the Chesapeake to a British man-of- 
war; and it was Decatur himself who was next 
given command of this famous frigate. Not 
impossibly the memory of those events made 
Barron unwilling to be satisfied with anything 
less than the arbitrament of arms. Both men 
were wotmded in the duel, Decatur fatally. 
To Irving, now at Paris, Brevoort addresses 
his next letter, in November, 1820, replying 
to Irving's letter of September 22^, wherein 
is first broached the project to navigate the 
Seine by steamboat. Irving's brothers in 
America, Ebenezer and William, considered 
with grave doubt the commercial enterprise in 
which Washington and Peter were engaging; 


but Brevoort, while expressing his fear that 
the scheme would not prove profitable, was 
yet ready to help his friend in financing it; 
and it was on Brevoort rather than on his own 
brothers that Irving drew for the funds to 
whose payment he had already committed 

Brevoort's next letter gives Irving news of 
affairs at Columbia College, where their friend 
Renwick has been appointed to the Pro- 
fessorship of Experimental Philosophy and 
Chemistry. Columbia at that time had five 
professors in all, of whom Anthon and Mc- 
Vickar still remain noted names in the annals 
of teaching. Brevoort observes that "the 
trustees seem resolved to raise the reputation 
of Columbia to the first rank"; but it would 
appear that the funds were not adequate for 
much immediate development. 

From college matters Brevoort turns to 
topics of the stage. In the previous Novem- 
ber, Edmund Kean had made his initial ap- 


pearance before an American audience, and 
his success in Shakespearean and other r61es 
stirred the admirers of Cooper to a high pitch 
of envy. As soon as Kean's engagement in 
the Anthony Street Theatre ended, Thomas A. 
Cooper began his, playing many of the same 
parts. This amusing stage warfare attained 
considerable proportions in those times when 
the theatre was an important institution in the 
social life of New York. Kean's weakness of 
moral fibre did much to abbreviate public 
esteem, and his refusal to play before a Boston 
audience on accotmt of the paucity of specta- 
tors so aroused public indignation as to cause 
his early return to England. Several years 
later, when he returned to this country, the 
irritation against him broke forth into one of 
the most disgraceful riots that ever took place 
in a New York theatre. 

Brevoort's next missive is in reply to Ir- 
ving's of the lo*'' of March, wherein the 
author of the Sketch Book, who was so success- 



fully establishing the good name of American 
literature abroad, answers, not without a 
touch of resentment, the attacks that had 
been made on him for remaining so long from 
his native land. Brevoort sees the cogency 
of his friend's arguments and, henceforth, that 
topic is allowed to rest. As if in reply to 
Irving's own candid exposition of his more 
intimate feelings, Brevoort now writes in a 
most pei-sonal vein concerning his own aspira- 
tions and capabilities: "To leave this world 
with a mere hie jacet is too mortifying to be 
endured"; but he breaks off suddenly to give 
Irving news of Paulding, Verplanck, the 
Coopers, Beekman and Astor, Nicholson, the 
Hofifmans, and other New York families, 
flavoring his potpourri of pleasant gossip with 
just a touch of scandal. 

In the postscript mention is made of Ir- 
ving's picttire by Newton which "will be ex- 
hibited next week in the Annual exhibition of 
the Academy of fine Arts." — No doubt it was 


because of this picture that Brevoort kept 
the catalogue of that exhibition among his 
papers, where we find it, stained with age, — a 
most entertaining little pamphlet. One hun- 
dred and twenty-nine paintings were shown 
in this seventh exhibit of the Academy, of 
which ten were by John Trumbull. No. 46, 
entitled merely Portrait of a Lady, is by 
Jarvis, — very possibly the portrait of Mrs. 
Renwick; No. 47 by "J. Newton" is listed 
as "Portrait of Washington Irving, Esq., lent 
by H. Brevoort, Esq." Newton, the talented 
nephew of Gilbert Stuart, had become a 
close friend — through the artist Leslie — of Ir- 
ving's in London, and Leslie's Autobiographi- 
cal Recollections record many pleasant hours 
spent together by these three young fellows of 
talent. The early death of Newton remained 
for both of his friends a lasting grief. 

But apart from Newton's portrait, there are 
many points to arrest attention in this cata- 
logue of the Academy's seventh show. The 



names of the directors and officers include 
various of Irving's friends. John Trumbull is 
the President (which partially accounts for his 
full representation in the exhibition); John 
R. Murray, the Vice-President; and Charles 
King, WUham Oracle, Gulian C. Verplanck, 
James Renwick, and Henry Brevoort are 
among the nine directors. Adding to this 
niimber the Treasurer and the Secretary, one 
notes with amusement that the fourteen 
academicians exceeded by the close margin 
of one the total number of directors and 
officers. But even more amusing is the get-up 
of this little catalogue. Lengthy passages 
from Shakespeare and Voltaire, stanzas from 
Scott, and quotations from the Bible accom- 
pany some of the paintings of Trumbull, New- 
ton, and West ; while in cataloguing a picture by 
Guido, the careful officers saw fit to append the 
statement, "Undoubted Original." Of his- 
torical note is the information with which the 
catalogue concludes, recording that "the re- 


maining Pictures in the Library with uniform 
frames, are part of the valuable donation given 
to the Academy by the Ex-Emperor Napoleon 
on his being elected an honorary member." 

Two other letters of this same year, 1821, 
treat of both business and literary affairs of 
Irving, and give to the absentee considerable 
direct news of his brothers. It is the last year 
of the life of William Irving, a man whose 
poetical abilities and distinct wit had shown 
themselves in the early years when with his 
brother-in-law James K. Paulding and with his 
brother Washington he had made Salmagundi 
the talk of the town. He had served in Con- 
gress until, in 181 8, ill health led him to resign, 
and he had ever been a loyal guardian of the 
interests of his young brother. Ebenezer, 
whom Brevoort characterizes as a real philo- 
sopher, was an equally attractive personality, 
and of even greater service in taking charge 
in America of Washington's writings. Peter 
Irving, the companion of both Henry Bre- 



voort and of Washington Irving in their travels 
abroad, has a place in the record of New York 
jotimalism as the publisher of the Morning 
Chronicle, which began its career in 1802; and 
figures in literature as having planned with 
Washington the work which eventuated as the 
famous Knickerbocker's History of New York. 
The fourth brother, "John Treat Irving, also 
had a literary bent, early in life made evident 
by his poetical contributions to the Morning 
Chronicle, but his chief reputation centres in 
his career as lawyer and judge. That all five 
of the Irving brothers enter into the pages of 
these letters of the year 1821 adds in an in- 
timate way to their interest. 

If we turn to Irving's letters to Brevoort, we 
shall find one written in June, 1822, and one 
belonging to the month of December, 1824, the 
only recorded epistles between the years 1821 
and 1825. That these ever reached Brevoort 
there is no evidence, and certain it is that the 
long hiatus in their correspondence was a 



source of regret to both of the friends ; Irving, 
in his sensitive way, fearing that Brevoort had 
perhaps lost interest in him, while Brevoort 
surmised that Irving's wanderings and liter- 
ary pursuits were the cause of his silence. 
Certain it is that letters went astray on both 
sides, and a misunderstanding resulted. On 
New Year's Day of 1827, Brevoort, in answer 
to the reproaches of Irving reported to him 
by Ebenezer, takes pen in hand, and in the 
most cordial spirit proceeds to bridge the gap. 
He repudiates the suggestion that occupation 
with his own affairs has made him insensible 
to the career of Irving. After referring to the 
episode as "the only instance of discord that 
has ever risen between us," he adds, "let us 
then, my dear Irving, begin the new year by 
a renewal of kind and affectionate recollec- 
tions, and by frank and frequent interchange 
of our sentiments." He continues with vo- 
luminous details concerning many friends and 
acquaintances, among whom we note with 



particular interest the name of Philip Hone. 
Hone, one of the most prominent characters 
of the New York of his time, had just been 
defeated for re-election to the mayoralty, and 
Brevoort, after alluding to the manner in 
which he was defeated as an insult to so worthy 
a man, remarks, "sic transit &c." But, cu- 
riously enough, to the very event which led 
Brevoort thus to comment on the passing of 
"gloria mundi" is due the continuance of 
Hone's posthumous fame. As financier, as 
politician, as philanthropist he would, for all 
his , excellent traits, long since have been an 
obliterated figure on the palimpsest of our 
city's history. But the diary that he began 
in 1827, after his mayoralty had ended, re- 
mains a fascinating chronicle which will con- 
tinue to keep his name alive as long as the past 
of New York makes appeal to its citizens, 
i Brevoort's letter is so full of amusing gossip 
that only a few of its paragraphs can be re- 
ferred to here. But we must note his charac- 



terization of James Fenimore Cooper, "Mr. 
Spy Cooper, " as he calls him, a man with "a 
rough and confident manner of expressing 
himself, " but "a right good fellow at bottom. " 
Cooper, Brevoort had come to know well at 
" The Lunch, " a prandial club which included 
artists, authors, and men of affairs who found 
much enjoyment in one another's company. 
Anecdotes of old Major Fairlie enliven the 
epistle, and his comment on the deaths of 
Jefferson and Adams, where Fairlie observes 
of Charles Carroll of CarroUton, (now the 
only surviving signer of the Declaration of 
Independence,) "Well! the old boy is left in 
a fearful minority, " is a witticism that binds 
with a strand of humor the days of the Revo- 
lution to the epoch of half a century later. 

Irving was more than glad to respond to his 
friend's advances, and his April letter from 
Madrid restores the status to its old warmth. 
Brevoort's reply in November, 1827, contains 
not alone expressions of personal affection, 



but, in its reference to the Life of Columbus, 
assures Irving (who has had some doubts on 
the subject) of the cordiality of American 
pubHc opinion towards him and his work. 
The doings of many of the friends of their 
youth are recorded for Irving's benefit, while 
FitzGreene Halleck and William CuUen Bryant 
come in for pleasant comment. 

In the next letter, Brevoort is seen again in 
his old capacity as Irving's literary adviser, 
having a hand in arranging matters in con- 
nection with the publication in America of the 
Life of Columbus. He discusses with business 
acumen the most advisable manner of having 
the book reviewed in Walsh's magazine, and 
tells Irving how a preliminary review of 
Scott's Napoleon had greatly aided the sale of 
Sir Walter's book. While Paulding, Camp- 
bell, Ogden, Renwick, Verplanck, Nicholson, 
and others of the friends with whom we have 
become familiar enter these pages, there is 
here, for the first time in this correspondence, 



mention of an old-time character whose mem- 
ory it is pleasant to recall. Dominick Lynch 
was a wine merchant to whom New York is 
indebted not alone for Chateau Margaux, 
but for Italian opera. A man who brought 
pleasure wherever he went, Lynch was a fore- 
most figure in musical circles, and himself a 
singer and player of decided attainment. 
The embodiment of gaiety, he held a position 
in New York society akin to that in London 
of Thomas Moore, many of whose songs were 
composed for this friend of Brevoort and of 

Here, too, Andrew Jackson makes his first 
appearance among these manuscripts. His 
defeat of Adams, and his ascension to the 
presidency in 1828, were to work many changes 
in the fortunes of Irving and of many of his 

The success of the Life of Columbus, the 
enthusiastic comments of Chancellor Kent, 
Fitz -Greene Halleck, and others whose good 



opinion must have been flattering to Irving, 
are among the topics of Brevoort's next letter, 
where a recountal of the excellent arrange- 
ments made by Ebenezer Irving and Brevoort 
in increasing the circulation of all of Irving's 
writings is further evidence of Brevoort's 
helpfulness towards his friend. — ^Announce- 
ment is made of the advent of another child* 
in the Brevoort family, which had already 
shown itself more prolific than the head of the 
house had expected. Brevoort gives the news 
with that touch of humor which often sparkles 
from his lines: "You see my dear fellow that 
my works are nearly as numerous as yours; 
whether they will live as long & be as kindly 
treated by the world is rather questionable." 
In the following March, Irving's writings on 
Spanish subjects come in for further discus- 

' Constance Irving Brevoort. Her son, M''- Robert Sedgwick, 
married his cousin, the granddaughter of Henry Brevoort's only 
sister, Margaret Brevoort Renwick. It is to this M"- Sedgwick thai 
the editor is under obligations for many courtesies in connection 
with the present publication. 



sion, and many social topics are broached, 
including the "nvimerous masquerades which 
now infest this crack-brained city." Jack 
Nicholson (to whose friendly intervention 
Irving owed his first appointment in the diplo- 
matic service) and Paulding are written of 
most entertainingly, though there is a touch of 
regret where the latest works of Irving's old 
collaborator are characterized as those of "a 
mind that seems to have stood still whilst all 
the world has been advancing in knowledge. " 
Andrew Jackson, now in the presidential chair, 
"seems determined to provide for those who 
have bawled loudest in his praise." 

The next month finds Brevoort going into 
careful detail regarding the steps that had 
been taken to assure the successful disposal in 
America of Irving's writings, especially the 
Life of Columbus and the Conquest of Granada; 
and Brevoort suggests further subjects of early 
discovery and conquest as themes for Irving's 
pen. — A line of political news catches the eye: 


" Mr. McLane of Delaware is appointed envoy 
to the court of St. James. " It was this diplo- 
mat who was so soon to become Irving's chief, 
and whose duties Irving later assumed as 
Charg6 d'Aflfaires at London. 

The offer of an appointment as Secretary 
of the Legation in London is announced to 
Irving by Brevoort in his letter of May 31^*, 
1829, an offer made by the Secretary of State, 
Martin Van Buren, without consulting Presi- 
dent Jackson. He, of course, gladly confirmed 
the appointment after Irving had expressed 
his willingness to accept, — an acceptance no 
doubt influenced by Brevoort's emphatic 
advice in that direction. 

The next missive belongs to this same year, 
a letter introducing Samuel F. B. Morse to 
Irving. Morse was then known only as one 
of the best of the American painters and the 
founder of the National Academy of Design ; 
while it is for a far different reason that poster- 
ity preserves his memory.— Qolumbia College 


affairs in connection with the election of a 
new president are made the subject of an 
amusing paragraph in which are spoken of as 
favorable the chances of William Duer, who 
"with a wife and ten children wants the 

His own large family was one of the reasons 
which led Brevoort to determine in 1830 to 
revisit Europe. He desired to afford his wife 
an opportunity to "escape from the thraldom 
of the nursery," and he wished his elder chil- 
dren to have the benefit of education abroad. 
So in March he writes to Irving of his ap- 
proaching departure and speaks of his grati- 
fication at so soon "taking you and your 
brother Peter by the hand." 

Brevoort and his party arrived in France in 
June, but it was not until August that Irving, 
who was immersed in his duties as Secretary of 
the Legation, could leave London to meet his 
friend at Paris. In the interval he receives 
two letters from Brevoort, giving news of 



what is happening to him and his family in 

the French metropolis, and in one of them 

commenting on the distasteful phases of that 

official life which was so at variance with 

Irving's inclinations and temperament. After 

Irving's return from Paris, his chief, Mr. 

McLane, left him in charge of the legation in 

order to take his own vacation in Paris, a 

visit that is noted by Brevoort in the letter of 

September 25*, 1830. It was while McLane 

was there that he received a communication 

in which Irving discusses the qualities of 

Talleyrand who had recently been appointed 

as Minister to England by Louis Philippe. 

Irving deprecates the Talleyrand policy, — one, 

as he says, "not stiited to a free cotintry and 

a frank and poptdar government"; and he 

adds — a characteristic sentence — "I question 

the greatness of any political talent that is not 

based on integrity. " 

Matters relating to the Revolution of 1830 

find their way into the next Paris letter from 



Brevoort, where he records an interview in 
which the Citizen King tries to propitiate, 
with the title of Honorary Commander in 
Chief, the old General Lafayette who had been 
deprived of his command of the National 
Guard. — "How would your Majesty be 
pleased with the title of Honorary King of the 
French?" answers Lafayette. 

Brevoort's series of Paris letters continues 
in March, 1831 ; and again he takes up affairs 
of France, the feebleness of its government, 
the depressed state of its industry and com- 
merce. From these he passes to Polish and 
Italian questions, and then to the Reform Bill 
in England, contrasting the orators of those 
days with Burke, Fox, and Pitt. In this por- 
tion of the letter two names arrest the atten- 
tion as those of English statesmen who are 
entitled to American gratitude. There 'would 
probably have been no War of 1812 if the 
views of Brougham and Alexander Baring 
could have determined events. Both these 



men deprecated hostilities towards American 
commerce, and the latter's Inquiry into the 
Causes and Consequences of the Orders in 
Council is a volume apposite to-day. Its 
author (who, in Brevoort's letter, figures 
merely as "Mr. Baring") is better known to 
Americans under his later title of Lord Ash- 
burton, a name that history has affixed to the 
Treaty of 1842 whereby Alexander Baring, 
then Minister to the United States, arranged 
with Daniel Webster for the settlement of 
the dangerous boundary disputes. 

In the spring of 183 1 Brevoort goes to Italy, 
and upon his return to Paris writes to Irving 
of this visit, and of his plans for an early tour 
through Switzerland and the Rhine cotmtries. 
Brevoort's ItaHan trip was made easier for 
him, as far as expenses were concerned, 
through his being preceded by the Mar- 
chioness of Conyngham, "who established a 
tariff in the inns very advantageous to my 
purse." Brevoort's sentence arouses reflec- 



tions concerning the wheel of Fortune when 
we pause to consider who this "ready reck- 
oner," this economic traveler, had been. Dur- 
ing the reign of George IV. her influence over 
the King was so great that not only did she use 
the King's horses, and have the dinners for her 
entertainments prepared in the royal kitchens ; 
the splendid Crown Sapphires were worn by 
this then powerful lady. Her husband was 
Member of the Privy Council and Lord Stew- 
ard of the Household, but with the death of 
George IV. their fortunes began to wane. 

A year had passed by since the accession of 
William to the throne of England, and Irving 
was now in charge of the American legation at 
the Court of St. James, McLane being on the 
eve of resigning his office of Minister to become 
Secretary of the Treasury under Andrew 
Jackson. This appointment, to which Bre- 
voort alludes, was due to the desire of Van 
Buren, Jackson's Secretary of State, to have 
the English mission for himself; and it remains 



one of the curious events of our political 
history that the Senate's refusal to, confirm 
Jackson's appointment of Van Buren so aug- 
mented the latter' s popularity that in 1832 
he was chosen for the vice-presidency, and four 
years later nominated for the presidency, 
defeating, among other competitors, the great 
Daniel Webster, who had been among the 
Senators opposing Van Buren 's appointment 
at London. 

Affairs of French and American interest 
occupy Brevoort's next letter, of July, 1831. 
He gives Irving the essential points of the 
Treaty of Indemnity negotiated on behalf of 
the United States, largely through the instru- 
mentality of the American Minister William 
C. Rives, a treaty which adjusted the difEer- 
ences that began when the conflict between 
Napoleon and Great Britain led, as far back 
as 1806, to the series of Orders and Decrees 
(by Napoleon at Berlin and Milan) so inimical 
to American commerce. Gallatin and Lafay- 



ette figtire in this portion of Brevoort's 
lengthy epistle, which concludes, however, 
with matters relating to art. Brevoort has 
acquired a painting that he believes is as- 
suredly by RafEaelle, and that he would like 
to have Irving's friend, the painter Newton, 
pass upon. 

In his next letter, after writing concerning 
books, the education of his children, and his 
constematipn at the rejection of Van Buren, he 
proceeds to give a vastly amusing recital of the 
sayings and doings of a curious character by 
the name of Carr, the American Consul at the 
Court of Monaco. Brevoort speaks of him 
as a "tall, gaunt, Randolph -looking figure," 
Randolph at that time being the United States 
Minister to Russia, probably the most gro- 
tesque and eccentric individual who ever held 
a high ofHce in American diplomacy. — De- 
lightful must have been the conversations on 
art matters between Brevoort and Carr, the 
latter having considered the purchase of two 



Venuses by Titian for 1400 francs: "Perhaps 
they were copies but they were just as good as 

In May, 1832, the packet ship Havre (which 
had carried Brevoort to Europe) arrived in the 
harbor of New York, and Philip Hone records 
in his Diary: "Among the passengers is otir 
distinguished countryman and my old friend, 
Washington Irving, who visits his native 
coTintry after an absence of seventeen years. 
I called to see him this morning at his brother's 
Ebenezer Irving. He has got very fat since 
I saw him in England in 1821, looks exceed- 
ingly well and is deh'ghted to be once more in 
his native city. I passed half an hour with 
him very pleasantly. He talked a great deal 
and is in high spirits, a thing not usual with him 
except when under excitement as he is at this 
moment." It is accordingly with words of 
congratulation upon Irving's arrival in his 
native land, and the warmth of reception 
accorded to him by his fellow citizens, that 



Brevoort's letter of July 28*11, 1 832, begins. He 
adverts in a pleasant, teasing way to Irving's 
reluctance towards accepting public testi- 
monials of regard, but is fully aware (again to 
quote Hone) that "the return of Geoffrey 
Crayon has made old times and associations of 
early life the leading topics of conversatioiT 
among his friends." He then proceeds to 
outline for Irving, who was planning American 
travels with Newton, a tour that should in- 
clude many of the scenes of Brevoort's own 
early days, and suggests Irving's "setting off 
from Montreal in a bark canoe with a dozen 
sturdy Canadian voyageurs up the Utawa or 
Grand River to the grand portage by Lakes 
Huron and Superior." Thus are we brought 
back to places described by Brevoort a score 
of years earlier. — In this same missive Bre- 
voort announces the birth of his eighth child,' 
an event not without unusual disquietude, as 

' Edith Brevoort, the mother of M'- Gremiille Kane, whose gener- 
ous loan of the Brevoort papers has made possible these volumes. 



cholera, then rampant in Paris, had driven 
the family to Fontainebleau, where is dated 
this letter, in which figure Paulding, Kemble, 
and, indeed, six of the "nine worthies" who 
still were, as Brevoort has it, "trusty and well 
beloved cronies. " 

Irving has returned from his Western tour 
by the time that Brevoort's final letter from 
Paris arrives. Its first pages are given to 
references to Pike's description of Hfe on the 
prairies, Mrs. TroUope's book of monu- 
mental misinformation concerning America, 
and Paulding's Westward Ho, — volumes 
which led Brevoort> to say that if he himself 
were not so averse to publicity he "might be 
tempted by the present curiosity of the public 
to ransack my mind for adventures and scenes 
in America, " and thus recalling to us his early 
conversations with Walter Scott. There is 
mention also of Miss Martineau's Illustrations 
of Political Economy, the lengthiest work of 
that prolific writer, whose services were called 



into requisition by the Reform politicians of 
her time, and whose influence in many fields 
was so wide-spread. The Dr. Bowring whose 
name Brevoort here introduces was the 
friend and biographer of Jeremy Bentham, 
and the first Englishman to be personally 
received by Louis Philippe after the British 
Government's recognition of the new French 

But it is from allusions to American politics 
that Brevoort's letter gains its most striking 
significance. For here, more than quarter of a 
century before the beginning of the Civil War, 
we find discussed the questions of Slavery 
and of the disaffection of the Southern States. 
Ever since Jackson's famous toast: — "Our 
Federal Union — ^it must be preserved," had 
been met, at a public dinner commemorating 
the birthday of Jefferson, by Calhoun's reply : 
"Liberty, dearer than the Union," the rift 
had grown wider and wider imtil, in Novem- 
ber, 1832, South Carolina had taken upon 



herself to declare as nuU and void the tariffs 
of that year and of 1828. The Ordinance of 
Nullification was to go into effect the first of 
the following February, and war seemed in- 
evitable; but Jackson's virile proclamation of 
the 16*'' of December, (of which Brevoort 
writes with such admiration,) led the Nulli- 
fiers to abandon their plan, and shortly there- 
after Clay's Compromise Bill staved off the 
final solution of our cotmtry's severest prob- 
lem. Brevoort's letter was written when the 
situation was at its worst, midway between 
the date of Jackson's proclamation and the 
date set for South Carolina's virtual secession. 
"You have no idea," he writes to Irving, "of 
the exultation of the friends of strong govern- 
ment over the impending difficulties on this 
side of the water. The disgraceful elopement 
of one of the sisters of our family they say 
casts a deep stain upon our house. The 
Carlists &c insist upon it that nothing but a 
legitimate king will restore us to order and 



prosperity. Johnny Bull is full of brotheriy 
sympathy, he perceives new markets for his 
wares. The cause of freedom is betrayed and 
dishonoured. " In no other of his letters does 
Brevoort write with as much fire and ardor as 
he does in his discussion of secession ; but, even 
so, he does not end without paragraphs in a 
lighter vein, where he informs Irving of a new 
patent machine for fattening fowls which 
"become as corpulent and fat as the late 
George IV. of exclusive memory"; while of 
John Jacob Astor he writes that "the old Gent 
finds me vastly entertaining, if one may judge 
from the frequency of his visits. " 

The spring of the year 1834 sees Brevoort 
again in America ; and how frequently he and 
Irving were in one another's company is made 
evident in Hone's Diary, where, in giving the 
names of guests at numerous dinners and othei" 
social meetings, that old-time friend and boy- 
hood neighbor of Irving's records almost 
invariably in conjunction the names of 



Irving and Brevoort. Their comparative prox- 
imity rendered lengthy communication un- 
necessary, but we have here five letters and 
notes from Brevoort, all of them addressed to 
Irving at Tarrytown. In the first of these, 
written in 1834, when Brevoort was staying 
at the honae of his brother-in-law, Professor 
Renwick, on the College Green, there is 
pathetic news of the death of the two young 
children of that Colonel Aspinwall who ren- 
dered Irving many services in reference to 
business arrangements for his works. In giv- 
ing the tidings of the death of these children, 
Brevoort writes of the kindness of James Feni- 
more Cooper, "reaUy a good man," and "the 
chief consolation of the AspinwaUs" in their 

The foremost item regarding New York 
social events which Brevoort forwards to his 
friend at Tarrytown concerns Trelawney, then 
the literary lion of the town. Trelawney is 
remembered through his intimacy with Shelley 



and Byron, and his escape, by mere chance, 
from sharing the former's fate on that memor- 
able day when the Mediterranean leaped into 
ill-starred fame. It was he who had snatched 
from the flames the heart of Shelley, an act in 
itself a poem. The man who had thus been 
caught in the glamor of Byron and Shelley 
possessed, in addition to literary talents, 
striking physical beauty — ("the beau ideal of 
his friend Byron's Corsair," Brevoort calls 
him,) — and so it is not surprising that during 
his American travels in 1833 — 1835 he could 
hold the wondering attention of all whom he 
met, an attention further riveted by such 
characteristic feats as swimming the Niagara 
between the rapids and the falls, and, in the 
same place, holding Fanny Kemble in his arms 
to afford her a better view of those far-famed 

The year 1840 yields a brief note from Bre- 
voort to Irving — a few lines of invitation to a 
dinner where the guest of honor was Mr. Rives, 



the American Minister to Paris who figures in 
earlier letters. 

In 1 841 another brief note is sent to Irving, 
in which Brevoort tirges a visit both to himself 
and to their old friend Gouvemeior Kemble in 
the Highlands; whereupon Irving goes first 
to Kenxble's, in the company of the American 
artist William A. West, (remembered mainly 
for his excellent portrait of B3rron,) and then 
to Brevoort's, residing a few miles away in the 
old Beverly House, which has a place in the 
record of Benedict Arnold's conspiracy. 
Thence, in the company of Philip Hone and 
Brevoort, Irving makes a tour along the 
Delaware and Hudson Canal, penetrating 
into some of the loveliest regions of New 
York and Pennsylvania, and finding, as he 
writes to his sister, Mrs. Van Wart, "some 
of the most enchanting scenes I have be- 
held since my return to the United States." 
The fatigues, however, of these travels caused 
an illness which reached its height towards 



the end of August, in dangerous days of 

Irving's recovery is made the subject of the 
opening paragraph of Brevoort's next letter, 
written August so**", 1841 ; but one must ques- 
tion the judiciousness of Brevoort's enclosure 
to his convalescent friend of the verses which 
one of Irving's admirers had begged Brevoort 
to transmit. 

In the same letter is recorded the death of 
Brevoort's aged father, whose "long gun" 
Brevoort now offers to Irving "in the name of 
the family, hoping that you may live to enjoy 
its possession as long, and as happily, as did 
its late worthy owner." In Hone's Diary 
the only entry for August 26**" reads, "Died 
this day at the great age of 94, Mr. Henry 
Brevoort. He lived all his life on his farm, 
now in Broadway, a short distance above my 
house, which cost him a few hundred dollars 
and is now worth to his heirs a half million." 

In the next note, Irving is asked to come 



to the Surrogate's office to prove the signa- 
ture of the old gentleman's will. 

These brief communications give place to 
lengthier letters, when, after Irving's appoint- 
ment as Minister at Madrid, the two friends 
were again on different continents. With 
Irving has gone as attachd of legation Bre- 
voort's son Carson, and Irving's kindness to 
him is made the topic of the father's gratitude 
in the opening pages of Brevoort's letter of 
December, 1842, In less happy vein, however, 
the letter continues. It was a period of com- 
mercial distress in America, with confidence 
impaired by the Bankrupt Law, and a time 
when all men of means found their investments 
vastly depreciated. Brevoort relieves his 
mind by confiding some of his financial 
troubles to Irving, but adds, " I have no cause 
to complain; I bear the weight of my three 
score winters and summers lightly and bravely 
and I am surrounded by a family of intelli- 
gence and love such as falls to [the] lot of few 



men, and for which I am heartily grateful to 
God. " — Here, too, is the record of some shrewd 
intellectual conversation between John Jacob 
Astor and his friend Joseph Green Cogswell, 
the first Superintendent of the Astor Library, 
Both of these men played important parts in 
connection with Irving's writings, Astor in a 
positive way in leading Irving to write Astoria; 
and Cogswell in prompting that chivalrous 
action of Irving's when he relinquished to 
Prescott the theme of the Conquest of Mexico. 
Irving had already commenced work on the 
same subject, but destroyed his manuscript 
after his generous abandonment in favor of 

In addition to news of Cogswell and Astor, 
the "group of old cronies" — ^Jack Nicholson, 
Kemble, Paulding — ^pass in review, with men- 
tion also of Daniel Webster and Moses Grin- 
nell (who had married Irving's niece), one of 
New York's merchant princes, Collector of the 
Port, President of the Chamber of Commerce, 



and later a member of the original commission 
that provided Central Park to our city. But 
the most interesting personage to figure in 
these lines is Charles Dickens, whose American 
Notes calls forth iatelligent comment from 
Brevoort. Dickens had during his stay in the 
United States become deeply attached to Ir- 
ving, and in his last letter to him, before the 
departure for Spain, had written: "Wherever 
you go, God bless you! What pleasure I have 
had in seeing and talking with you I will not 
attempt to say. I shall never forget it as 
long as I live"; and he asks Irving to write to 
him "if you have leisure under its svinny skies 
to think of a man who loves you and holds 
commtinication with your spirit oftener, per- 
haps, than any other person alive. " 

Another letter, and we come to the end of 
the Brevoort manuscripts. It is dated Oc- 
tober 1 8*^, 1843. It would be difficult to con- 
ceive a missive which cotild more felicitously 
complete this correspondence that had pro- 



gressed since the time when both Brevoort 
and Irving were in their twenties. One could 
aknost imagine Brevoort a boy again, with 
such zest does he confide to his life-long friend 
all the little gossip of their circle of acquaint- 
ances, the amusing episodes in which members 
of the Astor family figure, the scandal among 
neighbors, and all the talk of the town. 
Literature enters with Bancroft, Prescott, and 
Cooper; art with Weir and AUston; politics 
with Webster and Clay, and Martin Van 
Buren, that warm friend of Irving and Pauld- 
ing, who, his presidency over, has now retired 
to "Lindenwald" (which Brevoort anglicizes 
as " Lindenwood ") — the lovely home near 
Kinderhook, to which Irving had only recently 
accompanied him. Drama and music also 
are represented with mention of Macready and 
Conti. The epistle is a very mine of news to 
Brevoort's absent friend, soon to be immersed 
in the difficulties of his Spanish mission. It is 
small wonder that Irving, in his reply, should 



have begtin with appreciation of Brevoort's 
"most kind and welcome letter"; but the 
wonder remains for us that these two men, 
now both past sixty, could, despite the far 
different lines along which their lives ran, the 
great distances which for so many years 
separated them, have thus cordially kept 
up their relationship in the same spirit of 
affection that animated them in the early days 
when they were looked upon as the merriest 
of young fellows in the little city of New 

George S. Hellman. 

New York: Jvme, 1916. 




Publishers' Note v 

Introduction ...... ix 

I. — New York, January 19th, i8i I ... 3 

Comment on Irving' s travels — The firstnumher of Walsh's 
Review — Verplanck, Van Ness, and Clinton — Mrs. Ram- 
sey's boarding house — Mrs. Renwick and Mrs. Hoffman. 

II. — New York, February 14th, 181 1 . . 11 

Reflections on political partisanship — Peter Kemhle — 
Gossip concerning girl friends — Cooke's dinner to the actors 
— Theatrical news — John Howard Payne. 

III. — Mackinac, June 26th, 181 1 ... 20 

The canoe trip from Montreal — Voyage to Lake Superior 
and Sault St. Marie. 

IV. — Mackinac, June 28th, 181 1 ... 26 

The Indian Nations — Attitude of the American Govern- 
ment — Anecdote of a chief — Brevoort's desire to interest Irving 
and Paulding in Indian affairs — Popularity of "Knicker- 
bocker's History of New York. " 

V. — Mackinac, July 14th, 181 1 ... 36 

Charms of Mackinac — Indian traders — The magic of 
home — Indian mission to President Madison — Anecdote of 
the bear. 





VI. — Mackinac, July 29th, 181 1 . . . 44 

Brevoort's reflections concerning himself — Beginnings of 
Indian warfare — Anecdote of Madame Deffand. 

VII. — Paris, April 14th, 1812 ... 49 

The ocean voyage — Journey through Normandy — 
Palace of the Empress Josephine — Observations on the French 
peasantry — Napoleon and his plans — News of an impostor — 
Messages to many New York friends. 

VIII. — Paris, May 12th, 1812 • • • 59 

Minister Barlow and Captain Whetten — Brevoort studies 
French and roams about Paris — Beauties of Versailles — 
Napoleon joins the Grand Army — Description of the Em- 
peror and Empress — Behavior of Mr. Barlow — Irving' s boohs 
desired for presentation to Madame D'Arhlay. 

IX. — Edinburgh, December 9th, 1812 . . 64 

Peter Irving — The "Independent Columbian Review" — 
Francis Jeffrey and his views on America — The Royal Society 
of Edinburgh — Scientific discussions — Prof. Playfair — • 
Portrait of Mrs. Renwick by Jarvis. 

X. — Edinburgh, March ist, 1813 ... 70 

Home recollections — The old table on which Irving used 
to snore — The Van Warts — A dinner at Walter Scott's — 
Kemble's comments on Shakespeare — Mrs. Siddons, Talma, 
Garrick, and other actors — Scott as a dramatist — The war 
of i8i2—The "Life of Cooke"— William Roscoe—The 
recovery of Mrs. Hoffman, Matilda's mother — Description of 
Scott and of Jeffrey— "The Bridal of Triermain" — Bre- 
voort's admiration for Prof. Playfair — Chemical discoveries. 

XI. — London, June 24th, 1813 ... 91 

Brevoort meets Campbell, Joanna Baillie, Maria Edge- 
worth, and other celebrities — Mrs. Siddons' sublime acting — 
Liston in a travesty of Hamlet — Madame D'Arblay, Madame 
__ Ixxvi 


de Stael, and Miss Edgeworth described — Herschell and 
Mackintosh — Brevoort introduces Francis Jeffrey and Am- 
bassador de Kantzow to Irving, Astor, etc. — Walter Scott 
reads "Knickerbocker's History" and writes to Brevoort in 
praise of it — John Howard Payne as "Romeo. " 

XII.— New York, October 2d, 1818 . . loi 

An episode of calumny — Duel between Perry and Heath 
— James K. Paulding's new poem — Family news — Vice- 
President Tompkins hopes for Irving' s return — Local gossip 
— Gouverneur Kemble and his foundry. 

XIII. — ^Bloomingdale, September 9th, 1819 . 109 

Brevoort' s arrangements concerning the "Sketch Book" 
— The last numbers of Paulding's "Salmagundi" — William 
Irving — Brevoort' s first child, James Carson — Yellow 
fever in New York. 

XIV. — New York, November 9th, 1819 . .116 

The "Sketch Book" — Ebenezer Irving — The criticism in 
the "Evening Post" — The "North American Review." 

XV.— New York, April — , 1820 . . .121 

Brevoort' s second child, William Augustus — His sister 
Margaret and her husband James Renwick — Reverses of for- 
tune — The "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"— Writings of Pauld- 
ing and Verplanck — Contest between Clinton and Tompkins 
— Dud of Decatur and Barron — News of Irving's brother 

XVI.— New York, November — , 1820 . . 128 

Irving's steamboat enterprise — Mrs. Brevoort desires 
Irving to send music — Renwick appointed to a professor- 
ship at Columbia College. 



XVII. — New York, January 8th, 1821 . . 132 

News of Columbia College — Rivalry of the actors Kean 
and Cooper — Capt. Nicholson, Beekman and Astor — Liv- 
ingston's New Year's party — Public dinner to Kean — The 
" Sketch Book" — Family affairs. 

XVIII.— New York, May 7th, 1821 . . 137 

Irving's motives for remaining abroad — Brevoort's with- 
drawal from mercantile affairs — Thomas Moore and George 
Canning — Thomas A. Cooper and theatrical matters — 
Gossip of New York society — Newton's portrait of Irving 
exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts. 

XIX. — New York, June 15th, 1821. . . 143 

Brevoort advances funds to Irving — The Steam Boat 
enterprise — Irving's brothers, William, Ebenezer, and John 
— Kean's departure for America — The " New Sketch Book. " 

XX. — New York, October 9th, 1821 . . 147 

Coronation of George IV. — Brevoort suggests that Irving 
should use American material for a work of fiction — The 
"Sketch Book" and "Knickerbocker's History" — Tragic 
death of Miss Delafield — The Pauldings, Kembles, Rhine- 
landers, &c. — Jack Nicholson's twentieth love affair. 

XXI. — New York, January ist, 1827 . , 152 

Renewal of correspondence between Irving and Brevoort 
— Intimate reflections — Family news — European and Ameri- 
can reviews — Philip Hone — Nicholson's man-of-war in the 
Mediterranean — Henry Clay — Kemble, Verplanck, and 
James Fenimore Cooper — Witticisms of Major Fairlie — 
Death of Jefferson and Adams — Charles Carroll of Carroll- 
ton — News of Mary Fairlie (Mrs. Thomas A. Cooper) — 
Brevoort's father comes ' ' to the City ' ' once in four years from 
his farm at nth Street — Peter Irving and Edward Everett. 



XXII. — New York, November 19th, 1827 . 165 

The "Life of Columbus" — Brevoort assures Irving of his 
countrymen's admiration — News of old friends — Halleck and 
Bryant — Tragic death ofT.A. 'Emmet, the Irish historian. 

XXIII. — New York, December 19th, 1827 . 170 

"The Life of Columbus" — Cary and Murray the pub- 
lishers — "The American Quarterly Review" — Writings of 
James Renwick — Scott's "Napoleon" — Newspaper attacks 
on Irving — Musical affairs — Dominick Lynch and Thomas 
Moore — News of many friends — Political, dramatic, and 
social tidings. 

XXIV.— New York, May 31st, 1828 . . 180 

Praise from Kent, Jay, Halleck, and others for the "Life 
of Columbus ' ' — A rrangementsfor Irving' s Works — Paulding 
and Kemble — Nicholson's popularity with the ladies — Bre- 
voort's father cures the Earl of Huntingdon of dropsy. 

XXV.— New York, March 30th, 1829 .185 

Irving's Spanish writings — Brgvoort's delight at Irving's 
increasing success — News of the little coterie of old friends — 
The neu) president, Andrew Jackson. 

XXVI.— New York, April 30th, 1829 . . 190 

"Abridgment of the Life of Columbus" — Brevoort's ar- 
rangements with the Carvills, the publishers — The " Conquest 
of Granada " — Brevoort offers literary suggestions and finan- 
cial advice — President Jackson and political appointments. 

XXVII.— New York, May 31st, 1829 . . 196 

Van Buren offers Irving the Secretaryship of the Ameri- 
can Legation at London — Brevoort urges acceptance — 
McLane, the American Minister at the Court of St. James — 
Nicholson, Paulding, and other friends — Rives, the American 
Minister to France — Family news. 



XXVIII. — New York, November 6th, 1829 . 203 

Brevoort introduces S. F. B. Morse to Irving — The 
National Academy of Design — Irving' s acceptance of Presi- 
dent Jackson's appointment — Elections at Columbia College — 
Ebenezer Irving falls from his horse, 

XXIX.— New York, March 23d, 1830 , . 208 

Brevoort decides to revisit Europe — Family news — 
Moore's "Life of Byron." 

XXX. — Paris, June 17th, 1830 . . . 212 

Arrival at Paris — News of various friends — Brevoort 
longs to see Irving. 

XXXI.— Paris, July 8th, 1830 . . .215 

A room in Brevoort's apartment reserved for Irving — 
Plans for excursions to Switzerland, etc. — The education of the 
children — England and France contrasted — Ja^k Nicholson 
at Paris. 

XXXII. — Paris, September 25th, 1830 . . 219 

Brevoort's mother-in-law, Mrs. Carson, and her missing 
brother — The McLanes — Political affairs in France. 

XXXIII. — Paris, January 4th, 1831 . . 222 

Mrs. Brooks and her epic poem — James Fenimore 
Cooper — Messages to Irving from Brevoort's children — 
Nicholson and the French royal family — Madame Malibran 
and her husband — Atiecdote of Lafayette and Louis Philippe. 

XXXIV.— Paris, March 7th, 1831 . . . 227 

/// health and recovery of Brevoort — Plans of travel 
— The Revolution of 1830 and affairs in France, Poland, 
and Italy — English politics and statesmen — Baring and 



XXXV.— Paris, June 30th, 1831 . . .233 

Brevoort's Italian journey — The Marchioness of Co- 
nyngham — Irving the Charge d' Affaires — McLane's appoint- 
ment as Secretary of the Treasury in Jackson's Cabinet. 

XXXVI.— Paris, July 8th, 1831 . . .238 

The Treaty of Indemnity — Activities of the American 
Minister, W. C. Rives — The French Government and the 
Louisiana Treaty — Gallatin and Lafayette — Brevoort obtains 
a Madonna attributed to Raffaelle. 

XXXVII.— Paris, March 25th, 1832 . . 246 

Books and book-sellers — Martin Van Buren's rejection 
by the Senate — " The Red Rover" and Walter Scott — Consul 
Carr, a curious character — Nwvs of the New York fashionable 
world — Dominick Lynch. 

XXXVIII.— Fontainebleau, July 28th, 1832 . 253 

Irving' s welcome home to America — Brevoort outlines a 
journey for Irving and Newton — Gossip of friends and 
family — The Brevoort children — Cholera in Paris and 

XXXIX.— Paris, January i8th, 1833 . . 261 

Irving's western tour — Writings of Mrs. Trollope, 
Paulding, and Miss Martineau — Andrew Jackson's Proclam- 
ation — Secession and the slavery question — Europe's attitude 
towards American difficulties — Col. Thorn, Renwick, Astor, 
and others. 

XL. — New York, June 27th, 1834 . . 268 

Death of the Aspinwall children — Kindheartedness of 
James Fenimore Cooper — The Douglas, soiree — Trelawney 
and Byron. 



XLI. — New York, November loth, 1840 . 272 

A dinner at Brevoort's — Rives the diplomat, Cary the 
publisher, and John Jacob Astor. 

XLII. — New York, July ist, 1841 . . . 273 

Irving and West are invited to visit Kemble and Brevoort 
at their homes in the Highlands — Cornwall, West Point, 
and Beverly. 

XLIII. — Beverly, August 30th, 1841 . . 275 

Irving's illness and recovery after his travels with Hone 
and Brevoort — Death of old Henry Brevoort — His long gun 
presented to Irving — Brown's poem entitled "Past Joys." 

XLIV.— New York, October i8th, 1841 . . 282 

Irving is asked to witness the signature to old Henry 
Brevoort's will. 

XLV. — New York, December 28th, 1842 . 283 

/. Carson Brevoort, Irving's attache — Financial depres- 
sion in America — John Jacob Astor and his remarks on life 
after death — J. G. Cogswell, Kemble, and Paulding — Daniel 
Webster and Moses Grinnell — Dickens and his "American 

XL VI.— New York, October i8th, 1843 . . 292 

Irving and Carson Brevoort — Life on Long Island — 
Social and political affairs in America — Amusing gossip of 
the Astor family — A bit of scandal — Kemble, Paulding, and 
Martin Van Buren — Webster and Clay — Irving's diplomatic 
achievements in Spain — Bancroft, Jared Sparks, and Cooper 
— News of artists and actors. 


Introductory Notes ..... 305 



I. — Brevoort to his Parents, Marietta, Febru- 
ary 7th, 1804 337 

Meets General Putnam — The country along the Ohio 
river — Family matters. 

II. — P. L'Herbette to Brevoort, New York, 

March 6th, 1805 . .... 340 
John Jacob Astor — News of the fur trade. 

III. — Brevoort to John Jacob Astor, Montreal, 

May 9th, 181 1 343 

Business matters — The Mackinac Company — Statistics 
concerning beavers, otters, raccoons, and other fur-bearing 

IV. — Brevoort to John Whetten, St. Joseph's, 

June 25th, 181 1 347 

Advice to his uncle regarding the fur company — Vessels 
captured by the English. 

V. — Walter Scott to Brevoort, Abbotsford, 

April 23d, 1 813 349 

Scott thanks Brevoort for "Knickerbocker's History" — 
Praises Irving, whom he compares to Swift and Sterne — 
Hopes to see more of Irving's writings. 

VI. — John Howard Payne to Brevoort, Liver- 
pool, September 12th, 1813 . . . 351 
Introducing Charles Kemble, the actor. 

VII. — Miss Booth to Brevoort, London, June 2d, 

1816 352 

Washington Irving and Bibby the actor — Marriage of 
George IV. — Mrs. Siddons and Miss O'Neill. 



VIII. — Ebenezer Irving to Brevoort, Long 

Branch, September 28th, 1819 . . 355 

The success of the "Sketch Book" — Arrangements re- 
garding further numbers — Yellow fever in New York. 

IX. — Ebenezer Irving to Brevoort, Long 

Branch, October 3d, 1819 . . . 358 

Ebenezer receives the MS. of the fourth number of the 
"Sketch Book" — Comments on "The Mutability of Litera- 
ture, " " John Bull, " and " The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." 

X. — Brevoort to Rembrandt Peale, New York, 

January 2d, 1824 .... 360 

Brevoort's loan to Peale — The portraits of Washington by 
Stuart and Pine — A picture by Raffaelle. 

XI. — Rembrandt Peale to Brevoort, Phila- 
delphia, June 13th, 1824 . . . 364 

Peale's portrait of Washington — Trumbull and Sttiart — 
Peak's large family — His appreciation of Brevoort's assist- 

XII. — Robert Emmet to Brevoort, New York, 

February 22nd, 1825 . . . 370 

A request for snuff and literature — Puns and other wit- 
ticisms — An epidemic of influenza. 

XIII. — James Hamilton to Brevoort, Wash- 

irigton, December 25th, 1825 . . 372 

Vanderlyn the painter — His recalcitrant behavior in con- 
nection with the portrait of General Jackson. 

XIV. — Charles Carroll of CarroUton to Bre- 
voort, Baltimore, May 24th, 1826 . 374 
Financial affairs — The Montreal Bank. 



Xy. — PeterlrvingtoBrevoort, Rouen, 1828 . 375 

Washington Irving at Sevilie — The "History of Colum- 
bus" — Rouen — The Steam Boat Concern. 

XVI. — James Kent to Brevoort, New York, 

September 28th, 1830 . . . 378 

Philip Hone — " Disctissions upon the Civil Code" — 
The " Commentaries" presented by the Chancellor to Brevoort. 

XVII. — James Fenimore Cooper to Brevoort, 

Paris, 1831 380 

The Marquis de Marbois and other French statesmen — 
Thomas Jefferson — Cuvier and Villemain — Marbois' wit- 
ticism concerning Lafayette and himself. 

XVIII.— Brevoort to his Father, Fontainebleau, 

April, 1832 383 

Cholera at Paris — Brevoort desires to purchase some of 
his father's lots — Family affairs. 

XVIX. — Pierre P. Irving to Brevoort, New 

York, September 28th, 1833 . . 389 

Irving's nephew returns to Brevoort Walter Scott's letter 
concerning "Knickerbocker's History of New York." 

XX.— Winfield Scott to Brevoort, New York, 

October 8th, 1833 .... 390 

The General asks Brevoort to interest himself in Captain 

XXI. — George W. Lafayette to Brevoort, Paris, 

May 23d, 1834 . . . .391 

Death of Lafayette — Sympathy extended by the American 
Committee — Gratitude of the Lafayette family. 




XXII.— John Trumbull to Brevoort, New York, 

September 8th, 1836 . . . 394 

Presents an engraving of his famous portrait of Washing- 

XXIII. — David Austin to Brevoort, New York, 

April 24th, 1843 . . . .395 

The Vestry of Grace Church negotiates for its present 
property, then the site of the old Brevoort home, and a portion 
of the Brevoort farm which at one time comprised some go acres 
between 4th and iSth, Streets. 

XXIV. — Brevoort to David Austin, New York, 

April 25th, 1843 . . .397 

On behalf of his father's estate, Brevoort names a price, 
but stipulates that the heirs shall be held harmless in case nth 
Street should be opened from Broadway to the Bowery. 



Henry Brevoort 


Prom the painting by Rembrandt Peale. 

(Reproduced by the courtesy of Brevoort's grandson, ' 
Grenville Kane, Esq.) 


New York, January ig^^ 1811. 


I am still without any direct intelligence 
from you, although I penned you a very 
recondite epistle and by the advice of good- 
man-Curl directed it to the care of Mr. Coale, 
Baltimore, to be forwarded in case of absence. 

As the day is uncommonly genial and my 
spirits at a more than ordinary elevation, I 
cannot possibly start off without prancing 
in the air like a high mettled racer. I look 
upon you in the light of an eastern sovereign 
travelling through his vast dominions & 
collecting from his loveing subjects their tribu- 
tary caresses, judge then of my immeasur- 
able regret in missing the glorious opportunity 


of being associated with you in your pilgrim- 
age, & thereby sharing a moiety of attention. 
Since my return, my feeHngs are not unlike 
an adventurous aeronaut, who after having 
mounted to the third heaven, descends from 
his flight to the vile mole-hill of his nativity 
with a more confirmed sense of his insigni- 
ficance. And now my dear boy with such a 
lofty beginning, how shall I condescend to 
notice the trifles that surround me without 
shocking both you and myself with the 
abruptness of my fall. — It will be somewhat 
diminished by commencing with Mr. Walsh's 
first number which has been circulated and 
pretty generally read ; I know not the sentence 
of public opinion, but judging from my own I 
doubt whether it will be so favourable as his 
talents, (unquestionably of the first order) 
deserve. His politics are tinctured with such 
passionate prejudices against the institutions 
of his own country that I should really lament 
that his opinions gain many votaries. — In 


spite of Mr. Walsh's contximely, the virtue 
and talents of the present administration are 
very far from being contemptible; but whether 
they are or not, one-half the country are their 
warm supporters, and I trust a large propor- 
tion of the remainder have too much love of 
covintry to gratify foreign malevolence by such 
an ignominious exposure of their weakness. 

I insist upon it that many of these present 
embarrassments are not so much the result of 
mal-administration, as unavoidable circtim- 
stances, and whether our rulers were federal 
or democratic, they would have encount- 
ered the same hostile jealousy of foreign 
nations, and it is reasonably to be doubted if 
wiser measures to avoid them could have 
been successfully adopted. So much for his 
politics. As to the literary departments of his 
Journal, the fewness of original works & of 
professed authors in this Country, compels 
him to seek abroad for works to criticise and 
that province of Literature is now so ably 

NEW YORK, JANUARY 19!!} 181 1 

filled in England, that it would be a work of 
vain supererogation to again do, what is 
already so masterly done. — The books selected 
for the present number, are tmknown to us, 
even after reading his remarks, for he does not 
offer anything like an analysis of them. 

The Letters on France is decidedly the most 
interesting and will be the most popular part 
of his labours. — After all, I value not my 
mishapen opinion a pinch of snuff, • and I 
should be mortified to see his fine talents 
neglected by his countrymen, for he exhibits 
nevertheless a more extensive range of 
thought & more abundant materials expressed 
in a more manly and correct style than any 
writer this side of the Atlantic. — 

I understand the subscription list goes on 
slowly, and that not more than fifty names 
have been obtained. I shall do my best for 
the sake of Nicholas. — Old Dr Osbom is 
his most devout admirer, and declares that 
the best talents of the Country should be 

NEW YORK, JANUARY 19*^ 18 11 

employed to assist him. Trumbull and, others 
of note in the East, he thinks wiU show them- 
selves ready and active. 

I have sent you with this three newspapers; 
one contains a diverting Criticism of Ver- 
plancks, on the gnat Smally and his un- 
rivalled performance of the monkeys. — The 
second contains one of the ntimbers of 
Diarrhodon! The scene is laid in Paines 
Exch^: (which is now a very fashionable 
lounge supported by a subscription of eighty 
or ninety) the personages Pintard & Billy 
Rose; — ^the last has another number of the 
same writer, & is written with Addisonian 
elegance, both as to style & thought, who the 
writer of it is, I know not, it is supposed to lie 
between Van Ness & D. Clinton. — 

I am truly sorry that I have not a single 
article of news to commtmicate, except the 
mighty event of my qtiitting my present bed 
& board, to take up my quarters on Monday 
with Nick Ogden, at Mrs. Rumsey's in 

NEW YORK, JANUARY 19th 181 1 

Broad Way: the cause of this unexpected 
decampment is compUcated, principally owing 
to that old Tabby Mary since the illness of 
my worthy hostess, this vile old choakpear 
has been invested with the purple, and has 
exercised her authority with unexampled 
tyranny — I was driven to rebel and letters of 
marque & reprisals were forthwith issued, 
but I am obliged to imitate the conduct of my 
cautious friend the illustrious Earl of Busaca, 
and make good a retreat. 

Another event has happened of a nature 
indeed at this time distressing, and was 
communicated to me in a Letter from my 
friend M' Benjamin Wilson, Philadelp : it is 
no other than the stoppage of M^ Dilworth, 
who is my debtor ^10,000 — I am however 
assured by M' Wilson, that it arises solely 
from the present stagnation of business and 
not for want of means. M' Dilworth's books 
have been examined and M- W, who is 
both his relation and patron & moreover a 

NEW YORK, JANUARY 19*^ 181 1 

man of inviolate probity assure[s] me that there 
is a surplus of ^20,000 — ^but that he must 
have time granted to pay. — 

The loss of the use of so large a simi a* 
money, with other vexations & disappoint- 
ments, proves at this jimctvire sadly embarrass- 
ing, but I trust all will go on without any 
serious difficvilties. — 

I attended the assembly last evening which 
was numerous and brilliant. Hen was there 
in all the simple majesty of her charms. — M" 
Palmer (formerly Miss Rickets) I admire 
vastly ; her face is extremely new and beautiful. 
— M^ and M"? Pendleton, made their first 
appearance in Public, since their tinion; she 
will not do; she has already shrank to half her 
nattiral size. 

Y' Mother I imderstand is weU; I have 
neglected what I firmly intended, I mean 
to call upon her. — I am also ashamed to say 
that I have not seen M" Renwick, although 


NEW YORK, JANUARY 19*13 181 1 

I understood from M"? Hoffman, that she 
had asked for me — I am resolved — to — to — ■ 
make resolutions & have just resolution enough 
to break them. — 

I stop the Press to announce the receipt of 
your welcome letter from Washington City. 

I admire your undaunted resolution, re- 
joice in your safety and am inexpressibly 
diverted with your adventures. 

God Bless you my dear boy, and send you 
home soon and safe. — 

H. Brevoort, J' 


NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14th 181 1 
New York, Feb. i^- 1811. 


I never seized a pen in a mood less pro- 
pitious than the present, but as one may take 
the liberty of appearing an intimate in the 
most negligent undress, I shall make the best 
of way to the end of the paper, and venture 
to write an epistle without having anything to 
say. Judging from the success with which I 
have practised this modem art, among the 
circle of our fair acquaintance I do not think 
I shall hazard much by the experiment. 

I am deUghted with your mode of living, 
& applaud your plan of mingling freely with 
the good of all parties, for it is the most 
bigotted opinion that was ever begotten to 
maintain that the principles on which the one 
side found their pohtical creed, are so im- 
maculate & wise as to leave their opposers no 
other choice than the characters of fools & 
knaves. — Yet we see daily men of the soundest 
sense of either party acting upon this bar- 

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14^5 181 1 

barous & misbegotten opinion, wilfully shut- 
ting out from their minds the light of con- 
viction, and then protesting that all beyond 
is darkness & danger. — 
' The sage Peter Kemble who is waiting to 
accompany me to see Cooke in the Merry 
Wives of Win[d]sor, bids me warn you against 
the danger of keeping company with French 
Embassadors, who in his opinion are exceed- 
ingly apt to corrupt young gentlemen on their 
travels. — This prodigious youth is still an 
inhabitant of the Wall Street dungeon, study- 
ing the law with might & main in despite of 
the devil and the flesh, the latter of which 
as we all know being naturally disposed to 
rebellion. — 

The cunning rogue is continually sneering 
at my frequent visits to "the knowing lads 
that are not to be had," but I have good 
reason to believe that the slyboots watches 
my outgoing, then takes possession himself 

and romps with the majestic Hen at Shuttle- 


NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14th 181 1 

cock and other immoral games. Little Sue 
gives the most alarming sj^nptoms of having 
had her morals a little damaged by bad 
company, but a day or two since she informs 
me with all the simplicity imaginable, tliat the 
Yoting Lioness had hung up her stocking on 
the Eve of Santaclaus, and found in them the 
next morning an elegant Octavo edition of 
Thompson — observing slyly at the same time 
that she did not mean to throw any imputa- 
tion on the size of the Lady's legs ! — 
; Old Cooke gave a dinner a few days ago at 
Hodgkinson's, to the fag ends of the Company, 
meaning the Manager, Simpson, Robertson, 
Hogg, Pritchard, Knox, Bray &c, &c. Masters 
Doyle, McFarland, Smally & Daige, having 
been excepted, which they all maintain to be 
contrary to the "etiquette of true politeness. " 
— ^The first part of the feast I understand was 
conducted with great harmony jocundity etc, 
but about the time the third bottle ascended 

their pericraniums, the spirit of dire confusion 


NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14th 181 1 

and fierce debate took full possession of them. 
"God save the King" was drunk standing by 
all that would and all that could stand except 
the Manager, who had not loyalty enough to 
rise from the Chair; straightways all was 
noise and uproar & the spirit of party raged 
furiously. — The Gallant Pritchard (who is a 
stout bruiser) swore in a loud voice that 
the Yankees were rank Cowards, had been 
soundly drubbed at the Battle of Bunker Hill, 
and that he was ready to maintain his opinion 
by drubbing any man who dared to differ 
with him. Simpson, who I learn has become a 
most hearty American, immediately girt him- 
self in the armour of liberty and a combat 
instantly insued ; Honest Simpson (who by the 
advice of King Peter) anticipated an easy and 
glorious conquest, on finding himself getting 
worsted turned piteously around to his ad- 
viser and requested to know whether he 
might not withdraw with honour, ere he fell 
beneath the mighty arm of the furious Prit- 

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14th 181 1 

chard, but his Majesty bade him persevere 
and like Homer's Bellona stood by him to 
animate the fight and 'tis whispered that his 
Godship (but I hope this part of the Story is 
rather apocryphal) lent poor Pritchard a 
terrible blow on the face which ended the 

Robertson, who by this time felt his patriot- 
ism beginning to glow, insisted on the privi- 
ledge of taking a share in the fight, being 
withal a natural bom American ; when up rose 
Master Knox, who swore to defend and assist 
his friend & Companion de Voyage Bully 
Pritchard. Discord immediately flapped her 
brazen wings. 

And storming fury rose, and clamour such as heard 
in the Heaven till now, was never; Arms on 
Armour clashing brayed horrible discord. 

At length the Mighty Cooke, began to brand- 
ish his potent Arm, swearing, that if this was 
the way his guests chose to honour his feast, 


NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14!^ 181 1 

he would be damned but he would make one 
among them. The High Mettled Jockey of 
Norfolk (Hogg) luckily clasped the thunder- 
bolt in his arms; finding himself safely lodged, 
Richard forthwith exhibited outrageous symp- 
toms of Valour, for it grieves me to say that 
Capriceous Nature has mingled in the compo- 
sition of her Hero some of the leaven of 
cowardice, which manifested itself palpably 
in Boston. — 

Meeting Rannie the ventriloquist who is 
the most notorious coward & knave extant; 
Master Cooke requested him to return a fifty 
pound note which he had in England been 
swindled out of by him; Rannie bounced at 
the request and challenged Cooke to the field, 
when lo! the buskined Hero retreated to his 
room, lodged himself safely under the bed & 
locked the door, and the affair ended in a 
prosecution for loss of character by the Juggler. 
I must apologise for breaking thus the action 

of my story, and beg you to call the cowardly 


NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14th 181 1 

anecdote an episode; an article indispensable 
in the relation of epic events. — 

The Combatants having spent all their 
fury, poor Simpson, finding himself adorned 
with a "blackeye, " and the ragged Bucking- 
ham sotmdly pummelled they all withdrew 
from the field of battle. — Little Bray during 
the whole of the confusion, kept himself snug 
in a comer, moralizing on the passing scene, 
and the first words heard by the company 
were. Fie upon it, "that Men should put an 
enemy in their mouths to steal away their 
brains"! — 

Simpson has not been able to play since — 
I wish with all my heart the Capt had been 
amongst them, and that Bushel and him had 
come to fisticuffs; for he swears by his "liver 
& lungs" if ever he catches King Stephen in 
a situation somewhat defenceless (meaning a 
little cloudy or so) that he will take a full 
measure of vengeance for his exorbitant fines 
&c, &c. — 

VOL. II. — 2. I J 

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14"? 181 1 

Knox, is a very indifferent actor ; Pritchard 
I think gives great promise in the line of fine 
Gentlemen, his figure is extremely handsome 
& his voice harmonious & strong, but he is 
very raw & untutored. — 

Cooke has played miserably to miserable 
houses; he is to appear soon in Kitely & 
Lear, & does not go South until the 16 of 
March. — Wood has written to John Payne to 
play some nights alternately with Cooke; 
but his offer was not considered liberal & the 
Young Roscius declined the engagement. — 
Dwyer was to have played the above nights, 
but thinking that Cooke would eclipse him, 
he wrote Wood that he might consider his 
engagement forfeited .^- 

Miss Eloise Payne is in Town & wishes ex- 
tremely for the honour of your acquaintance ; 
she is a very fine accomplished Woman, but 
not remarkably handsome. — 

Boss, is still in existence, but considers 
himself as one among the dead; I am told 



however this evening that the Council are at 
a stand owing to a meeting that took place 
lately at Martlings, at which, Clinton was 
denounced, & a committee dispatched to 
Albany with a copy — * 

* The end of this Utter is missing. 


MACKINAC, JUNE 26th igii 

Mackinac, June 26- 1811. 


M^ M^Gillivray has just arrived & handed 
me your Letter; it is the first intelligence that 
I have received from the regions of civiliza- 
tion since my departure, and I swear to you 
that no famished epicure ever devoured the 
most delicious viands with more flavour than 
did I its contents — I look upon it as the most 
attentive proof of fdship that I ever received 
from you. 

The only recompense I can make is to 
relate the history of my pilgrimage Letter, 
and as I have but half an hour to write it, I 
shall be brief and barren, and you must 
excuse the eternal repetition of the first person 
singular for its unavoidable. — 

We left Montreal on the 16 May in a Bark 

Canoe & fourteen paddles, and within eleven 

days arrived at this place, making a distance 

of 900 computed miles ! 

I know not how to convey to you the variety 

MACKINAC, JUNE 26th 181 1 

of pleasure that I enjoyed in traversing 
through the most wild and romantic regions 
in North America, for who can clothe a land- 
scape in words? — 

The navigation is obstricted by upwards of 
forty rapids & waterfalls, and the Canoe with 
about 4000'"* of baggage, to be carried on 
the men's backs accross as many portages 
some of them two miles long, others over 
steep precipices of craggy rocks, which an in- 
experienced traveller would find difficult even 
to crawl over without the risk of fracturing his 
limbs ; — but these indefatigable Canadians sur- 
mount every obstruction by a sort of instinct 
unknown in any other animal. — ^We ascended 
and descended a great number of rapids & 
falls with equal success ; in many of them, the 
slightest deviation, would have dashed our 
frail Vessel into atoms ; but we shot down them 
with the swiftness and unerring certainty of a 

* This would seem to be a heavy cargo for a canoe, even with 
fourteen men paddling I Could Brevoort have meant 400 pounds, 
or perhaps $4000 worth of baggage ? — The Editor. 


MACKINAC, JUNE 26^1 1811 

dart from a cross bow. The rapids of the S? 
Laurence are mere ripples compared with 
some of the more dangerous ones in the Grand 
or Utawa River; the water was often so much 
indurated by its rapidity that a fiat stone 
would have floated down", — ^for two hundred 
yards distance. — 

The finest break of the River is called the 
Chaudiere, about 350 miles from Montreal. 
The river abruptly descends within a distance 
of a mile about 200 feet, forming a variety 
of Falls & rapids — We were fortunate in 
arriving about an hour before sunfall; the 
whole scene was shaded with a thick mist, in 
a moment the oblique rays of a fine evening 
sun shot through this cloud of suspended 
vapour and were refracted into the most 
inchanting optical phenomina; rain bows 
alternately appeared & disapp"? & reflected 
their images with the utmost vivacity through 
the air, and presented all the variagated hues 
of the prism. — 


MACKINAC, JUNE 26th 181 1 

Whilst I was standing at the foot of these 
rapids, a Canoe with savages shot down them; 
she appeared at first sight as if she had been 
tumbled from the heavens, for the height of 
the rapids was coeval with the horizon. 

A little above the Chaudiere is a Fall, 
without a name, (for here are rivers groves & 
Falls unconsecrated by song) which is in the 
highest degree romantic; its height is about 
fifty feet descending in a thick coltimn; a small 
Island divides it & the lofty pines from either 
side, of the River & Island, form a complete 
alcove, through which the Water rushes. 

I could fill half a dozen sheets with di- 
scriptions of scenes in every part of this River 
each one of which nature has marked with 
distinct characteristic features — but I should 
fatigue your patience by my feeble attempts. 

At some future day you must positively 

explore these unknown & unpraised retreats 

of Nature, and judge for yourself. 

We encamped in our Tent ' each night 

MACKINAC, JUNE 26*!? 181 1 

about 9 O'clk & departed in the morning at 
3 O'clk.— 

I was struck in some of our encampments 
with the novelty & variety of our nocturnal 
concerts. — 

The booming of the Bittern was the thor- 
ough bass; its musick is the most original & 
melancholy that can be imagined ; the Curlew, 
Duck, Bull-frog, Cormorant, Whip-poor-will — 
& Wolf complete this savage symphony. — 

I have just returned from a voyage of 
pleasure to Lake Superior & the Soult of St. 
Mary's, extremely delighted. — 

This Island is celebrated for its romantic 
situation, and scenery; and every walk offers 
a variety — Yesterday I discovered an Indian 
Catacomb in the side of a Rock filled with 
bones that have lain there centuries since. 

We have excellent food principally caught 
each night from the Lake, fine White fish & Sal- 
mon Trout, some of which weigh 45 — and are 

as fat as pork: we live completly a la Savage. 


MACKINAC, JUNE 26th 181 1 

It is extremely uncertain when I shall be 
able to depart for N Y — ^but I hope to be 
with you by the i Sept — 

M°Tavish writes me that he intends a 
visit to New York, & shall remain there until 
the I August — I am vexed that I cannot be 
there to share his company. — 

We are off! The Canoe is in waiting. I 
cannot write six lines further, this epistle 
scurvy as it is must serve as a kind of circular 
to the Cortes for at present I have not time to 
write others, — 

Rem: me affec? to Peter James — &c, &c, 

&c — & tho' last not least M" Renwick to 

whom I feel myself extremely grateful for her 

kind attentions to my sister. 

I am, 

My d^ Irving, 

most affr Yi 

Henry Brevoort Jf 

I am very glad to observe that you have 

crept into my shell at M" Rumsey's. 


MACKINAC, JUNE 28th 181 1 

Mackinac, June 28- 181 1. 


I wrote you a hurried epistle a day or two 
since, giving a confused and feeble sketch of 
the Scenery of the Grand River on my voyage 
hither; with that you must be for the present 
satisfied; I can only add that all I saw was 
'tremendous almost' as a great author 
phrases it.* 

At present I wish to draw your attention 
towards other objects. — 

This letter will be accompanied by two 
genuine Indian Orations literally interpreted. 
I was present at the delivery of Siganack's 
speech, which was spoken amidst an assem- 
blage of 20 Chiefs with the most forcible & 
graceful elocution. Ogilvy himself might 
have been instructed in attitudes. 

These speeches I wish you could get pub- 
lished, in a newspaper of either party (if 
possible) but at all events to obtain their 

* See McKenzie's Voyages — Route from Montreal to Mackinac. 


MACKINAC, JUNE 28th 181 1 

insertion in one paper. — I can assure you that 
they convey a faithful picture of their present 
and anticipated distresses. — 

The Indian Nations of the interior have 
always been recognized by the Am: Govern- 
ment in their treaties with them as Indepen- 
dent people, beyond the jtirisdiction of their 
laws, and when the Embargo act passed an 
exception was made for the admission of 
goods from England for their consumption, 
but the existing law has no exception ia their 
favour whatever. 

It is to this injustice that the speeches 
attend as well as the imposition of duties 
exacted at Mackinac on European goods for 
their use since the reign of M- Jefferson; the 
latter objection however is at present of sub- 
ordinate importance to the first. — 

All European goods destined to the trade 
of New South "West American fur Com- 
pany" are now & soon will be at S- Josephs, 

a british post 45 Miles from hence, and no 


MACKINAC, JUNE 28«} 1811 

hope is entertained that Government will 
grant them admission; consequently the 
Indians within the U States, comprehending a 
vast number of Nations upon the Lakes the 
Mississippi & its tributary rivers, will be 
deprived of their accustomed supplies of 
goods. — They are in a very great commotion 
respecting this invasion of their natural rights 
as they call it, and the best informed traders 
are of opinion that serious mischiefs are to be 

It is a deplorable fact that these miserable 
wanderers have become so accustomed to the 
habits and conveniencies of their civilized 
brethren, that they are unable to exist without 
them — with the exception of two or three 
nations who inhabit the plains where Buffaloes 
are numerous, the bow and Indian cloathing 
are in total disuse. — 

I should not be surprised if their first hostile 

attempts were directed against the cattle of 

the Frontier settlers, and unless they find 


MACKINAC, JUNE 28«l 1811 

themselves vigourously repulsed, their next 

attempts would be against the lives of the 

settlers themselves, a calamity which ought 

to be averted by great sacrifices. — 

Not long since upon their being charged 

with stealing a Horse, one of their chiefs 

answered the claimants, that he was astonished 

at the injustice of the white men's demand. — 

What right (continued he) have you to obtain 

your Horse? Do you ask our Hberty to come 

into our Forrests and kill our Deer, to bait your 

hooks and spread your nets in our Rivers & 

Lakes, to take our Fish? You first set us the 

example of stealing and when we follow it, you 

have the effrontery to reprimand us & ask 

satisfaction. But notwithstanding all this, 

we disclaim the aggression you complain of; 

it was the act of our foolish young men whom 

we cannot always control, we shall therefore 

give back the stolen Horse, but we caution you 

to beware of the future. — 

On another recent occasion Gov : Hale, made 

MACKINAC, JUNE 28th 1811 

a request in Co[u]ncil to purchase a small spot 
of their land. They refused to sell on any 
terms for (said they) if we give you a spot the 
bigness of one of our feet, you will take up a 
handful of sand and scattering it as far as the 
Winds will blow, swear that the whole extent 
on which it has fallen is yours, therefore you 
shall not have it. — We caution you not to do 
as others of your Nation have done — ^to pur- 
chase our lands for a trifle of some drunken 
worthless individuals of our tribe, and make 
us all responsible for their acts. — ^We now 
declare that we will never ratify any sale of 
land unless it be done by all the individuals of 
our Nation, for they are all of them owners in 

The Am: Government instead of making 
them voluntary presents of goods, have since 
M^ Jefferson's reign established Factories (as 
they call them) throughout the Country 
with needy agents who exchange their goods 

for Peltries on the most niggardly terms. — 



This they very properly call an Indian gift. 
Whereas the British Gov* have a regular 
Indian department, & distribute cloathing, 
&c., to upwards of Ten thousi Indians 
annually, which I have ascertained from an 
official source, and are willing even to ex- 
tend their benefactions to a still greater 

' You may form an opinion of the popularity 
of thp two governments from these causes and 
judge how easily it is to overrun the cup of 
bitterness, by enacting a law which prohibits 
the admission of European goods into the U 
States intended to be fairly traded among the 
Indians, whilst the Am: G* are unable 
(having no stock of Indian goods in the U S) 
to substitute a supply. 

I wish Paulding & you or yrself alone to take 
the trouble of writing a prefatory note to the 
speeches, stating that they are authentic & 
whatever else you make think pertinent. 

I shall depend upon your attention to my 

MACKINAC, JUNE 28«} 1811 

request, as I stand pledged to have them 
published. — 

I have read your Letter a dozen times & 
each perusal made me feel as if I had just left 
our best of all Cities. — In this wilderness one's 
local affections are ever tugging at one's 
heart; it is impossible to know by how many 
imperceptible fibers the soul is bound to 
familiar objects, until one separates from them 
and resides for a while remote from Civiliza- 
tion, then each one holds him with the force 
of a cable. — 

Avert thy glorious face divine Apollo from 
the unworthy occupation of thy choicest 
votary the renowned Knickerbocker, but when 
he again supplicates thy aid & has finished 
copying his invoices of filthy Dowlass,* in- 
spire him with immortal fire. 

Would to Heaven you were with me in this 
second Eden (without an Eve). Within an 
hours walk, I would scramble with you to the 

* A coarse linen doth made in Scotland. 

MACKINAC, JUNE 28!^ 181 1 

stunmit of a venerable old rock, from whose 
lofty head you would behold natures savage 
face, expanded to endless dimentions, com- 
manding a partial view of Lakes Michigan 
& Huron, studded with innumerable islands 
and botmded by the most romantic Bays, 
Inlets, Promontories & Rivers, the seats of fu- 
ture Cities and future Empires. — ^Then might 
you indeed exclaim with Milton, 

As one who long in populous city pent, 
Where houses thick & sewers annoy the air. 
Forth issuing on a Summer's morn, to breathe 
The smell of grain or tedded grass, or kine 
Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound. 

Your History is going the rounds through 
the Village from the Commandant to the 
smallest Indian Trader, so that you contribute 
more to their merriment & pleasure than you 
probably would if you were here yourself. 
The chapter on the right of Discovery delights 
them; one of the Traders swears you must have 

VOL. II.— 3- 33 

MACKINAC, JUNE 28«} 1811 

wintered among the Indians, for you appear to 
know them so well. — 

I shall have very little active employment, 
unless the Am: Gov- admit the Companies 
goods, & I hope to leave hence by the 10 
August, with M^ M^Gillivray & be among 
you by the i - September. — 

I am glad to find you so contented since you 
have crept into my shell, I doubt not that I 
shall quarter with you on my return. — 

It vexes me to have lost M'?Tavish's & Ch's 
& Ann's visit to New York. — 

Keep Peter at his post & feed him with 
cantharides to excite his amorous spirits. I 
swear by the Gods he must triumph, he is 
worth a wilderness of his rivals & the fair 
Princess altogether. — 

I salute M'.= H M"^^ R. Gertrude 

Eliza, &c, &c, with my kindest regards. 

Remember me also in the most fdly manner 

to all whom I am interested about — & do not 

forget Inskeep & even little Mosey. — 


MACKINAC, JUNE 28^1 1811 

If you think a Letter will have time to 
reach me on receipt of this at Montreal, write 
a volume — 


Afifec Y'. f? 
Henry Brevoort J'. 

Shew old Astor the speeches if he wishes to 
see them. 


MACKINAC, JULY 14!!} 1811 

Mackinac, July 14- 1811. 


I have now passed nearly two months and 
shall be condemned to pass almost two 
months to come, literally shut out from the 
busy world, without even Cowpers loop holes 
to peep through; in short as completely iso- 
lated as was the renowned Rob: Crusoe of 
your,* and ten times more idle. 

All the curiosities which nature has lavished 
upon this romantic little Island, have been 
again & again explored, & I begin to wish 
devoutly for my departure, for it is recorded 
that even Paradise lost its inchantment & 
became a desert wild, without a companion. 
There is however no want of Eves in these 
inhospitable regions, all of whom D^ Romaine 
might claim as the legitimate descendants of 
his sooty Adam, from the dinginess of their 
complexions. — 

But these are not the companions in ques- 



MACKINAC, JULY 14M! 181 1 

tion; I scorn such spurious offspring of our 
great grand mother, M"? Adam. — 

There is not a man here of the least con- 
geniaKty, either of taste habits, or thinking 
with myself. — 

I have few books ; the son in law has de- 
prived me of occupation, and the Demon of 
solitude has cursed me with his deadliest 
influence. — If by some magical device you 
could manage to bestride one of these Arabian 
steeds, celebrated in romance for their docility 
and swiftness, & convey yourself beside me, I 
would engage to go frantic with joy, which I 
think ought to satisfy any reasonable man of 
the value of my affection. — ^Added to this, I am 
surrounded by upwards of a score of Indian 
Traders, who being cut off from their accus- 
tomed supplies of goods from the Company, 
are completely set adrift upon the wide world, 
as desperate as so many famished wolves. 
The framers of this cruel law, in omitting an 
exemption in favour of the Indians, were 


MACKINAC, JULY 14!!} 181 1 

either ignorant of its fatal effects, or saw them 
so distantly, as to extinguish the natural 
feelings of their humanity. — 

They have wantonly deprived an indepen- 
dent people of their usual supplies, without 
providing substitutes. — The Traders must 
return to their Wintering Posts ; & when they 
are asked why they bring no goods, the whole 
blame will be thrown upon the Am: Gov*, 
whose measures & policy were before, but too 
obnoxious, toward the natives. The conse- 
quences are therefore inevitable; hundreds of 
the children of these unprovided savages must 
starve, and their furious parents will assuredly 
revenge their deaths upon the unoffending 
whites, who inhabit the frontiers. — 

These melancholy considerations are the 
constant subjects of discourse without the 
probability of melioration, and make me long 
for the society of my friends at home. — 

What magic is contained in that honest 

little word home! It is impossible for a 

38 ' 

MACKINAC, JULY 14*^ 1811 

wandering exile to speak or write it, without 
kindling in the soul a blaze of pleasure! — On 
my feelings, it operates as a talisman to dispel 
melancholy and animate hope; reviving all 
those local affections that play about the 
heart, and which after all our chilling philo- 
sophy, constitute the true end and charm of 
existence. — I have often thought that if such a 
reptile as myself, has the power of forming 
sympathies, so indissoluble towards particular 
persons & places, how irresistable must be the 
longings of the exile whose consequence and 
talents, made him the idol of that society 
which he once adorned ! — 

I doubt exceedingly whether my Lord 
Bolingbroke's eloquent remedies did not sink 
into despair under the miseries of his banish- 
ment. — 

Let me enjoin you not to ridicule this singu- 
lar train of reflections on Solitude — Zimmer- 
man himself never wrote under the influence of 

such genuine feelings — I therefore commend 



both your reverence & silence on a subject so 
sacred. — 

We look for a canoe from Montreal daily, 
and I have promised myself a long epistle 
from you, but if I find that you have forgotten 
me in your wanderings, "I will have such 
terrible revenge — but what it is I know 

How shall I eke out this whining epistle? 
The exchequer of my imagination is ex- 
hausted, and the wayw^ard spirit, will not 
advance a line without halting. — 

I disdain to apologize for this dolour. 
As to a discontented spirit, I scorn it from 
my very soul; but somehow or other, I feel 
myself sunken into a state of abandon- 
ment which nothing but the company of 
those I hold nearest my heart can al- 
leviate. — 

Did you get the Indian speeches published? 

— Siganack with six of his most potent chiefs 

have shouldered their grievances and marched 


MACKINAC, JULY 14!^ 181 1 

toward Washington for the purpose of obtain- 
ing relief from the President. — 

From their dignity & influence as well as the 
objects of their Mission I imagine there never 
went a more respectable deputation of Indians 
to Govern*. — I would have given them a 
Letter of introduction to you, but it was out of 
their route to pass through New York, either 
in going or returning. — They are by far the 
finest looking Indians I ever saw. — Since you 
are fairly in for the postage of a double sheet, 
I will fill up the paper with a story of savage 
superstition, related to me yesterday by an 
old Trader. — On[e] night last winter a noted 
Indian magician, whose incantations I suspect 
are performed by the aid of Ventriloquism, 
came with a number of followers to pay the 
Trader a friendly visit. — Whilst smoaking 
their pipes around the fire, they were suddenly 
amazed at hearing the most lamentable cries 
of an infant issuing from above. — The won- 
dering Savages prostrated themselves in fear 


MACKINAC, JULY 14^ 181 1 

& trembling, except the inchanter, who very 
coolly bade them allay their fears, as the cries 
they heard were nothing else than little Starry 
face, one of his Manitoo's (sprights) who was 
fluttering in the upper part of the room, and 
signified to him that a large Bear, was secreted 
in a hole some steps from the cabin. — His 
auditors began again to take breath, when the 
Copper Coloured Prospero forthwith shoul- 
dered his Gun, and presently returned drag- 
ging along with him honest Bruin, having shot 
him in the very spot identified by his Ariel ! — 
It is unnecessary to add that the fellow had no 
doubt discovered before he entered the cabin 
the Bear's hiding place. — Owing to a number 
of miracles of this nature, the natives look 
upon him as either the legal Vicegerent of the 
Great Master of life, or the very devil him- 
self. — He occasionally folds himself into the 
fresh hide of a Buffaloe, and ties all his joints 
with sinews — in this state his prophecies are 

held oracular, especially if he manages to ex- 


MACKINAC, JULY 14!!} 181 1 

tricate himself quickly from the knots. — ^W. 
Scott must have had him in his eye. — 
God Bless you my d- fellow — 

H. B. y. 


MACKINAC, JULY 29"? 181 1 

Mackinac, July 2^- 181 1. 

Blessed be the cheering sound of the voice 
of friendship when heard in such a dreary- 
wilderness as this ! — 

Your last epistle my dear Wash: has 
certainly rescued me from petrifaction. I felt 
myself waxing fast into that blissful state ; my 
heart began to exhibit the first symptoms, and 
I think it not improbable, that some future 
generation of Barbers might have sharpened 
their razors upon my poor forlorn carcas. — 

"To what vile pttrposes may we not return — 

I am of opinion that a state of idle solitude, 
would prove a much more agonising punish- 
ment for candidates to the lower regions, than 
the fire & brimstone terrors proclaimed by 
itinerent alarmists. — The Letter within was 
written a few days ago under the fullest 
influence of 

Vain Phantacies! the fleeting brood 

Of woe, selfsolaced in her dreary mood ! — 


MACKINAC, JULY 29* 181 1 

But the kind efforts of my N York friends & 
you as chief magician have (I hope) effectually 
exorcised the vile Demon. — I would not send 
it, if it were not for the purpose of shewing 
you how exactly our lethargic miseries corre- 
sponded though originating from somewhat 
opposite causes. 

Oh! man, man, what a villanous compound 
of crudities art thou! — One moment the 
mercury of thy soul sinks ten degrees below 
despair, and the next moment (from causes 
inscrutable) rises again, to the highest pitch 
of hope & enthusiasm. 

Just such a machine am I ; as varient as the 
moon beams, that I now see, dartiiig their 
quivering shadows on the tranquil bosom of 
the mighty Huron. — I have of late (& I know 
not wherefore) felt apprehensive lest I might 
peradventure, make my exit in this fag end of 
creation. — 

The Savages are beginning to raise the war 

[w]hoop against their brethren the ' big knives, ' 


MACKINAC, JULY 29^ 181 1 

and I almost regret having left in N York my 
old perriwig, as it might possibly have been the 
means of saving my scalp. — 

But in sober sadness, should I (my d- boy) 
"shuffle off my mortal coil" 

"And o'er my head close the dark gulf of 
time!" ;n this villanous terra incognita, I 
should certainly run the hazard of being out 
of roll-call at the general muster; and conse- 
quently be lost to my friends in waiting 
upon the shadowy side of the River Styx. 
— ^Ah! whoreson caterpillar that I am; lit- 
tle did I ever dream of sympathising with 
that cream & sciun of sensibility Madam 

This celebrated belle esprit, relates in her 

memoirs that on a certain occasion, she became 

marvellously afflicted at the prospect of ending 

her existence, in the vicinity of a brotherhood 

of Sulpician Monks — ^not so much from the 

terrors of dying, as from a personal knowledge 

that the place of sepulture had been moistened 


MACKINAC, JULY 29^? 181 1 

time out of mind by these lusty prisoners of 

This little anecdote certainly exhibits ter- 
rors of a 'watery grave' in an original and 
truly pathetic point of view ! — 

I have written so many Letters this evening 
that my eye lids begin to wag for sleep. One 
of them is to that little boar-pig the prince 
Regent in his fallen state. — I have proffered 
to him the bahn of consolation, and took the 
liberty of telling him, that of all things imder 
heaven, a little man impatient of adversity, is a 
sight, that has ever been scoffed, scouted, & 
sneered, by both Gods & men. I have moreover 
proposed a plan whereby he may be reinstated 
to all his shorn dignities. Remember me to 
James, & unless he has forgotten me, which 
I begin to fear. — If you chance to see the 
Wilkes', give my kindest regards to them, & 
all others who live in my remembrance. 

Thiae forever & ever! 

H. Brevoort, JT 


MACKINAC, JULY 29th 181 1 

Remember to the 'rugged Physics,* honest 
Swart:* who M' M^G. told me came fellow 
passenger with him to N. York. — 

* Samuel Swarlwout, later Collector of the Port, whose career 
ended disastrously through speculations in Texas lands. 


PARIS, APRIL 14th 1 812 

Paris, April 14- 1812. 


We landed at Cherbourg on the 5* ins* 
after a passage of 26 days, dtiring which we 
encountered nothing but a succession of 
gales, &c: — ^but as I am partly descended 
from a family of sailors, I escaped the misery 
of sea-sickness altogether. — I may therefore 
be permitted to assert, that except being 
under water (as the sailors phrase it) all the 
way; throwing a somerset against the side of 
the cabin, and making a fearful breach accross 
my nose (which is yet unclosed) together with 
the double curse of an execrable cook and a 
drunken steward, the passage was somewhat 
agreeable. — 

I saw none of the Wonders of the deep ; no 
whales, no Mermaids, nor not even a wave as 
high as the steeple of S* Paul's church; and 
I confess myself guilty of no other sentimental 
emotion than a slight twinge of pleasure on 
discovering the Lizard. — 

VOL. n. — 4. 49 

PARIS, APRIL i4«i 1812 

Our journey from Cherbourg hither (I 
mean Henry Cap: Jones & myself) was 
through lower Normandy, by the way of 
Valogne, Bayeux Caen & Evreux, all Towns of 
the remotest antiquity, and like every other 
member of that gray headed family resident 
in France, of a most respectable, most ragged 
& most forlorn aspect. — ^At Evreux however 
I was first gratified with a sight of a Gothic 
cathedral, and although I was apprised that it 
was a mere min[i]ature of those I should see 
both in this Country & England, yet I cannot 
easily forget its solemn grandeur, and the 
sublimity of feeling with which I felt myself 
inspired in approaching its lofty altar. — 

Within half a league of Evreux stands the 
ancient palace of Navarre, once the residence 
of the noble family of BouUon, but at present 
one of three palaces which form the establish- 
ment of her Imp: Maj: the Empress Jose- 
phine. — 

The palace is small & the architecture not 

PARIS, APRIL i'4th 1 812 

in the least magnificent, the ground & water 
are however disposed with considerable art, 
but the situation is in a Valley, or rather a 
Swamp, admirably adapted to the residence of 
a colony of Beavers. — 

As the Empress was absent on a visit to 
Mahnaison, we were conducted through every 
part of her palace: the apartments (except the 
Saloon) are small and far from elegant, but 
the ftuTiiture and decorations, display a taste 
in the Empress of the most exquisite refine- 
ment, calculated to inspire the most exalted 
opinion of the simplicity and elegance of her 
mind & pursuits. — 

Perhaps you may suspect me of having a 
slight prejudice in favour of her Majesty, 
more partictdarly as I have so far enjoyed her 
favour, as to gain admittance even into her 
bed chamber & private bath. — 

My attention was first arrested in France 

by the grotesque costume and characteristic 

features of the Norman Peasantry. — I cannot 


PARIS, APRIL 14th 1 81 2 

express to you the pleasure I felt in observing 
their old fashioned customs, dress, habitation, 
&c, for I am a lover of the olden time. — For 
more than 200 Miles on our way towards 
Paris, we saw the same ancient style of head- 
dress, adorning the same style of features, that 
existed in the times of the renowned William 
the Conqueror. — 

An American generally obtains his notions 
of modem France through the exaggerated 
medium of English newspapers, and conse- 
quently expects to find the peasantry in a 
state of absolute beggary and despair. — Cer- 
tainly nothing can be farther from truth. — I 
speak from my own observation on our way 
hither, and can positively state that I have 
never seen so rich a country, nor one half so 
well cultivated; for two hundred miles the 
country was covered with fields of grain, of 
the richest verdure, abundantly stocked with 
sheep & cattle. The peasantry were handsome 

of fair healthy complexions, cheerful aspect, 


PARIS, APRIL i4tJl 1 812 

remarkably well clothed and exhibiting every 
mark of fat content. 

From Evreux to Paris (about 60 Miles) we 
came into a vine country and I was sorry to 
perceive that the inhabitants had a less 
prosperous appearance than their more remote 
brethren; I also noticed that the standard 
elevation of the good old Norman coif sudden- 
ly fell six inches, and appeared nearly divested 
of its waving streamers. — 

I fear I shall weary your patience with 
uninteresting details, but I really feel desirous 
of contradicting the belief of the starving state 
of the French peasantry by a brief recital of 
what I have seen. — 

Behold us now in possession of an elegant 

suite of apartments in the Hotel de I'Empire 

which we have taken for two weeks. — ^As I 

have been but four days in Paris, I am not 

prepared to say anything that can amuse you ; 

indeed I find that it will take me some time to 

accommodate myself to the vast scale on which 


PARIS APRIL 14th 1 8 12 

everything in this place is conducted; besides 
I have been confined the last two days by a 
severe cold, which is, I am told a tribute paid 
by every stranger on his first residence in 
Paris. — 

M- Barlow and M' Warden received me 
with attention & kindness, and I have every 
reason to believe that the next three months 
will form the most pleasureable epoch of my 

As to speaking the French language, I am 
not unlike a person who is recovering a lost 
sense; every day adds to my strength. — I 
studied as much as it was possible on the 
passage, and have now an excellent master, & 

shall soon have an excellent , all of which, 

united with my insatiate desire to acquire the 
language cannot fail of ultimate success. — 
After remaining here three months provided 
I get enough of the Language, I shall com- 
mence travelling. — 

They tell me that at present Paris is ex- 

PARIS, APRIL 14!^ 1812 

tremely dull. The Emperour after spending 
some time at S* Cloud shut up in close study, 
has gone to join his army of upwards of 400,000 
men, the whole of whom are now on their 
march toward the North. — Cambaceres, has 
said that the present project outstrips all 
others in magnitude and importance, but 
upon whom the thunder will burst is known 
only to the Emperour himself, as it is said he 
has not communicated his designs to any 
person. — The general opinion is that Russia 
is the power against which his strength is 
levelled, but M- Warden, who has access to 
good sources of information, tells me that 
Turkey is to become a province of France — 
also that aU the marine towns on the Con- 
tinent are to receive strong reinforcements in 
order to keep out English goods. — 

By the Wasp I shall write to you again and 
send out a few articles under the care of one 
of the officers for yrself & others: there has 
not been anything published lately that could 


PARIS, APRIL 14th 1812 

possibly interest you, but I shall know more 
of that by & bye. — 

Both M^ Barlow & M- W desired me to 
advise Inskeep to send out 3 or 4 doz: Cop: 
of the Ornithology & to make a present of a 
set to the National Institute, and that both 
of them would take upon themselves the 
trouble of selling them. 

I understand there are a number Americans 
going home in the Hornet, but as I have 
made a resolution to know as few of my 
countrymen as possible while abroad I 
scarcely know their names. — 

My friend Henry has been made the dupe 
of a rascal under the title of Duke de Crul- 
ler, who accompanied him from Engl"? to 
America. He had an interview with the real 
Duke de Cruller this day who declares the 
fellow to be an imposter, and the proper 
documents will be forwarded by the Hornet 
to stop his career. Henry never communicated 

his connexion with the fellow, until we were 


PARIS, APRIL 14th 1812 

on the coast of France: as soon as he had 
finished his relation, I instantly hinted at the 
possibility of his being an imposter, but H 
would not listen to my suspicions. — 

I earnestly hope Henry's character will not 
suffer by his connexion with the scoundrel; 
people should consider that it is only honest 
men who are the dupes of villainy. — 

It would take a volume to explain the whole 
of the cheat; I am certain however that it 
would exhibit a tissue of exquisite imposition 
not exceeded by Semple, or even Mahomed 
himself! — 

Henry is cut to the very heart; but he bears 
it like a man. — 

■ I am so pinched for time that I have merely 
written a few lines to Gov: & Peter, referring 
them for particulars to you. — 

I must not forget to observe that John E 
Seaman Esq., called upon me & from the 
extravagance of his conversation relative to 
the affairs of this Country, I am of opinion 


PARIS, APRIL I4«? 1812 

that he is somewhat deranged ; he will return 
to N Y in about 5 weeks. — He hinted that 
his only object in remaining here was to 
stop the growing power of 'this man'* as he 
phrases it ! All this for your private ear. — 

Rem: me affec: to my dear friend M'? 
Renwick & her family. — 

Rem: me also to M^ & M" Ryckman & the 
family, not forgetting even our Tom. — The 
Barrel of Apples was the most choice article 
on board the ship. — 

I have not seen any face in France with 
one half the beauty of the fair, Julia! — 

God bless you my dear boy. — 

* NapoleonI 


PARIS, MAY i2th 1812 

Paris, May i2~ 1812. 


The messenger has this moment called to 
demand my Letters for the U States, within 
an hour, M' Barlow having ordered his 
immediate departure, I have therefore only 
time to scribble you a hurried epistle. — 

In the first place Capt Whetten, will 
deliver into your hands a dozen superfine 
french shirts, which I have sent out in the 
Wasp, cost 28 f's each; the Cravats & pocket 
hkfs could not be got ready. — 

In the next place, I have pitched my tent 
in Paris until the i'-* Sept' for the purpose of 
acquiring the language in the intermediate 
time. — To that end I avoid every person who 
has the misfortune to speak English, as 
cautiously as if they were infected with the 
plague, and by dint of hammering I absolutely 
begin to stammer a little vile French. It is a 
most nauseating pill, but I nevertheless ad- 
vance, although my daily progress appears 


PARIS, MAY 1 2th 1812 

(to myself) as imperceptable as the perforation 
of a rock by the daily droppings of water. — 
My dear boy, if you were but with me to 
assist me in laughing at this most ludicrous, 
characteristic, quizzical, nonsensical & de- 
lightful of all the nations under the canopy of 
heaven! — I have not found any one who has 
any relish for my peculiar sources of amuse- 
ment, — ^Por instance, one of my chiefest 
pleasures is to sally forth early in the morning, 
and abandon my steps to the direction of 
chance, wander onward until the the* calls of 
hunger suggests* the necessity of a coach. — 
It is impossible to give you a journal of the 
ludicrous scenes which one encounters in 
every turn. — ^Afterwards I dive into one of 
the Caves imder the Palais Royal and have 
the honour of making one in as whimsical a 
group of oddities as it is possible to bring 
together — viz: charlatins, diviners of the 
fates, grimace-masters, posture masters, old 

* Brevoort was, obviously, writing hurriedly. — The Editok. 

PARIS, mAy 12* 1 812 

politicians, spies of the police, toe-nail cutters 
— dog frissieures, &c, &c. — 

Your friend Brun6 is in high favour with 
the public, and fools it to the very top of his 
bent. — 

I shall not say anything about picture 
galleries, operas, plays, palaces, &c, except 
the little palace of Trianon at Versailles, 
which with its gardens laid out after the 
English style, exceed anything that the most 
fruitful imagination could have conceived: 
indeed so perfectly magical was the whole 
scene to me, that I should not have been 
greatly surprized to have beheld groups of 
Fairies, Satyrs, Genii & the whole family of 
supernatural gentry startg. up before me, and 
frolicking through "the alleys green," — 

The Emperour did not set off to join the 
grand Army until the morning of the 9-; 
the Empress travels with him as far as Dres- 
den for the purpose of seeing her family. — 

I saw them both at the opera a few. evenings 


PARIS, MAY 12*^ 1812 

since; his countenance did not dissappoint 
me, for I never thought that it announced the 
greatness of his character: — it bears a most 
striking likeness to the late prints, except 
that it has a more saturnine & thoughtful 
expression. — 

The Emp'^^* has a perfect high-dutch phisi- 
ognomy & of course no beauty; she has be- 
come extremely thin of late. — 

M' Barlow has behaved to me in a manner 
the most indifferent & inhospitable he has 
(notwithstanding his voluntary promise to 
the contrary) neglected to present me to the 
Emperour, who has had a public day since 
my arrival. — I do not like to make complaints 

against M' B but unless he has some 

better motive for his conduct than I can at 
present perceive, I swear to be even with 
him in the end, & so ends the affair for the 
present. — 

* Maria Louisa, Archduchess of Austria, and not the Empress 
Josephine mentioned in Brevoort's preceding letter. — The Editor. 


''V^_ -^ly<<^-T^^ 

''^^ "— ^^ ^ 




— \ 



^'^^-i^C^^^Uf-.^^f-^^ f^ 


PARIS, MAY 12*^ 1812 

You must endeavour to find a safe convey- 
ance for a new Knickerbocker & a sett of 
Salmagundi; I want to present them to Mad: 
D'Arblay the authoress of Evelena, &c, &c. 

Have you written to me? — 

I know you will think me a shabby fellow 
for putting you off with such a mawkish 
epistle as the present; but you must also 
recollect how impossible it is to write a good 
Letter from Paris. — I offer the like excuse to 
Peter & Gouv: — 

Rem: me to the household & and do not let 
the insignificant space which my absence has 
created be filled up by a total neglect among 
those who know me. — 

I would send you some Literary affairs, but 
I know of none worthy of your attention. — 

I am My dear boy 

Affectr y? 
Henry Brevoort Jr 


Edinburgh, Dec. p^ 1812. 


Your brother has just announced to me 
from the opposite side of the table that his 
paper is completed filled, without mentioning 
my name, I must therefore seize the quill in 
my own defence and scrawl a few 'hasty 
sentences. — Indeed after the voluminous 
epistle lately sent to you, I think I stand 
completely absolved from the charge of lazi- 
ness; probably at the expense of my weakness, 
for I am heartily ashamed of the crude 
contents of my bulky despatch. — 

But to the point. — I have just written to 

my fd. Lherbette in Paris, to use his utmost 

endeavours in proctuing & forwarding to 

New York the different periodical Journals of 

France, as well as those of note published on 

the Continent, such for instance as Kotzebue's 

&c. — ^All these are intended for the benefit of 

"the Independent Columbian Review" which 

I am happy to learn is soon to issue from Mul- 



berry Street under the fostering care of Seth 
Handiside, Esq', already so advantageously 
known to the reading world for his spiritted 
eflEorts in the cause of letters. — 

At present it will be difficult to find fre- 
quent & safe conveyances from France, but I 
rely on the assiduity of Lherbette. — From G. 

B the D- will of course do all that can be 

done for you. — 

The business of conducting the work in ques- 
tion, besides dissipating your habitual dread of 
the Alms House will keep you from running 
up to seed in these calamitous times. — The 
D- will communicate to you our notions of the 
best mode of conducting the work, which I 
think will merit your consideration. — 

If by bestowing greater labour, the work is 
found to have a wider circulation than the 
printer contemplated, you have it in your 
power to increase your subsidy correspond- 
ently — I think however that for a beginning 
the man has been liberal. — 

VOL. II. S- 65 


The last Edinb: Review has been chiefly 
written by Jeffrey, as his compatriot Mr 
Brougham has been too much occupied to 
afford his usual assistance. Its tone of flip- 
pancy, vivacity and affected contempt for 
others, is strikingly characteristic of the 
genius & conversation of this little inky 
Hector. — 

His opinion of the Society in N Y & 
Philad: is singularly ludicrous; I marvel that 
the polished Town of Wapping was not 
coupled with Glasgow & Manchester, as 
rivalling us in elegance. — The chief source of 
his American intelligence is a brother, who 
resided a nttthber of years in Boston, moving 
in a sphere which I should judge authorises his 
humble opinions of Americ9,n civilization. — 
We are busily employed in various studies, 
which are charmingly enlivened by the kind 
attentions of a most intelligent circle of ac- 
quaintances. Our stay will very likely be 
prolonged until the i^* of Feby, unless un- 



expected events intervene, that may urge a 
more speedy departure. — . 

We attend the lectures of Prof: Plaj^air on 
Nat: Philo: Prof: Jameson, on Nat: History 
& Geology — D^ Hope on Chemistry & DT 
Brown, on Moral Philosophy. 

A few evenings ago we attended a meeting 
of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, where we 
encountered a full divan of the savans of 
Scotland. — Prof: Playfair read a paper which 
recounted a fact strongly in confirmation of the 
Huttonian Theory, of which he is the strong 
pillar of support. — This Theory supposes Fire 
to have been the universal agent in the decom- 
position of Matter, and is in direct opposition 
to the Wemerian Theory which maintains the 
doctrine of Water as having operated every 
change upon the surface of the Earth. — ^They 
are distinguished by the names of the Pluto- 
nian & Neptunian Systems, and have numerous 
partisans in the learned world — (See Prof: P's 

illustrations of the Huttonian Theory) 



Prof: Playf air's paper mentioned the fact 
of a considerable mass of iron stone, lately 
discovered at some depth tinder Blackness 
Castle embedded in a large body of stratified 
green stone, which its magnetic properties 
proclaim to have been strongly ignited — as 
iron stone in its natural state possesses no 
magnetic power. — 

Specimens of the latter were also shewn, 
dug up in the vicinity of the former. 

As this fact can only be explained by the 
Huttonian doctrine, it will be found difficult 
to overthrow or disprove it by those who 
maintain the heretical doctrine of Water. — 

Prof: Playfair is decidedly the Luminary of 
Edinburgh ; he is universally beloved & looked 
up to, & is not less distinguished for the 
simplicity of his manners than by his genius 
& profound knowledge. — 

He is among our acquaintance, and I am 
the more inclined to like him from the strong 
;resemblance that he bears to my dear father — ■ 



who by the way, I charge you not to neg- 
lect. — 

We are very much pleased with M" 
Renwick's sister in law and her beautiftil flock 
of fairy children; I have promised to be the 
bearer of her portrait to America. — ^The por- 
trait of M" R. by Jarvis,* revived many de- 
Hghtftil recollections. — 

I beg my affect greeting to James Gouv^ 
& Peter. 

I am my d- Washiagton ever y? 


* The painting is reproduced in these volumes. 



Edinburgh, March i- 18 13. 


I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude 
for your kind attention to a wanderer in 
foreign lands without transgressing the sober 
bounds of reason, but as the heralds of true 
feeling are not words I shall be temperate. — 

The lengthened period of my absence from 
America swells the veriest trifles into impor- 
tance, and occurrences otherwise insignificant 
are now of great pith & moment. 

The recollection of dear home can never 

fade in my remembrance, indeed the love of 

country (so far as I have been able to observe) 

seems to animate the hearts of Americans 

abroad with all the ardour of true Swiss. — I 

have been too much jostled about the wide 

world to feel acutely the vacant yearnings of a 

stranger in any country much less so in this 

one, where every one strives to supply the 

place of absent friends, and banish the pains 

of separation. — 



But there are moments when the fit comes 
upon me and tugs at my heart in despite of 
all the gaiety and the kindness that surround 
me. — 

I am however obhged to confess that here 
are girls not less lovely than those of Gotham 
(I should be loathe to swear to the fact) yet 
their beauty is not destined to shed its rays 
upon me. — ^Here are Professors, learned as our 
own professor Renwick, yet are they not 
Renwicks. — ^Here are promenades crowded 
with rival beUes, yet are they not Broad- 
Ways. — ^Here are old Thebans with hats 
quaintly cocked and renowned soap-boilers 
with greasy aprons, yet are they not Harry 
Roomes, nor oiley Watkeys. — 

Here are shops and Hbraries stored with 
the treasures of the learned, yet are they less 
attractive than those of the recondite Curl 
and eke the critical Johnny Forbes. 

Here too are walks along streams conse- 
crated to the muses by the melody of verse, 



yet (ingrate that I am) commend me to the 
greenwood banks of old Hudson, & the 
tranquil shades of my native Bowery. — 

You see my dear Wash, how much I long to 
fill the vacant chair on the opposite side of the 
well recollected Table in our private sanctuary, 
but let my remembrance fill all the vacancies 
in your heart as yours most truly does in 
mine. — 

Ah! how often has that fdly Table sustained 
your incumbent head of a winters evening, 
and served for a soimding board to your nasal 
melody. — 

What treasures of moral precepts and good 
humoured sallies has that Table witnessed; 
enough to reform a guilty world, but alas ! for- 
ever lost to an admiring posterity. — My good 
Sir, pray you pardon this irruption of senti- 
ment, it has long been accumulating in my 
heart, and would have vent in spite of all 
opposition. — 

Soon after yotir brother left me, I was so 


forttinate as to become acquainted with an 
English Gentleman M- Jukes, with whom I 
have lodged ever since, and he has supplied 
the loss of your brother tolerably well. He 
has been charg6 d'affaires in Persia, possesses 
various knowledge, attends the same lectures 
and moves in nearly the same circle that I 

I shall therefore be induced to prolong my 
stay in Edinburgh until the middle of April, 
Afterwards I shall join your brother Peter, 
and execute some notable plans that we have 
in view. — 

Y^ Brother, M^* & M":^ V W, the boys & 
myself are all to meet in London in the month 
of May, so that I shall not take my departure 
from old England before the middle of June 
or first of July. — 

I am eager to join you in any scheme of 
living that you happen to like best; private 
apartments would be most desirable if they 

* Irving' s brother^n-law, Henry Van Wart. 



are to be got either in B Way, or in th6 
vicinity of B Way. — I shall not mind a little 
extra expense for the sake of comfort, for it is 
a blessing with which I have now bec<i)me 
very familiar. — 

Kemble is now performing here; I have 
seen him in nearly all his great parts & can 
truly say with Cato "I am satisfied." — 
Though not a perfect actor, he is far beyond 
any other actor that I have ever beheld. — I 
am acquainted with him & like him well; he 
has the manners of a gentleman and the taste 
of a scholar "a ripe one too." — His acquaint- 
ance is sought by men of the highest rank and 
by men of the highest genius. — I dined in 
company with him at Walter Scotts the day 
before yesterday. — The party consisted of 
M^ Henry Mackenzie, M^ Jeffrey &c., and 
as the conversation turned upon dramatic 
poetry and upon the art of acting it was kept 
up for several hours with very extraordinary- 
ability. — Kemble sustained his part trium- 



phantly and entered into a minute analysis 
of acting and composing plays, which showed 
him not less master of the one than of the 
other. — I doubt if any person ever understood 
the great principles of the drama better than 
Kemble; his distinguished auditors listened 
with sUent attention & approbation to his 
masterly illustrations. — 

Shakespeare as you may imagine is his idol; 
he declares that after having acted characters 
in twenty six of his plays during the period 
of thirty years, he never repeats one of them 
without discovering some unobserved beauty, 
whilst in the parts of other authors after 
learning the words all further study is at an 
end. — M" Siddons (I understand) has de- 
clared a similar opinion. — I cannot enter into 
the particulars of all that was said, but it was 
one of the most brilliant discussions that I 
have ever witnessed. 

He is an intimate friend of Takna and 
resided in the house of that great actor whilst 



in Paris; he bears willing testimony to his 
transcendent merit beyond all his french 
competitors; indeed Talma stands unrivaled 
upon the french stage. — In his private deport- 
ment Kemble pronounces him "to be grave 
solemn & didactic ; as every great Tragedian 
ought to be." — He was also well acquainted 
with Clairon, of whom he got many anecdotes 
of Garrick, particularly the one of the Spittle- 
fields Weaver & the child that dropped from 
his arms into the Streets. — 

I ought to have told you that Scott is also a 
dramatist; M- Erskine has in his possession a 
manuscript Tragedy written many years ago, 
which is distinguished by many marks of his 
fine genius. 

Kemble told me that he was perfectly satis- 
fied with M^ Coopers offers, and felt desirous 
of seeing America, but that the War prevented 
his emigration. I said that the War would 
prove no obstacle either to his pleasure or his 

success — he thinks that his political preju- 



dices might occasionally come in contact and 
render his intercourse with our society danger- 
ous & disagreeable.^I ventured to assure him 
of a hospitable reception from my countrymen 
and strove to do away with M^f Kembles ap- 
prehensions of a sea voyage which she greatly 
dreads.— I dwelt largely upon the intelhgence & 
liberality of our best circles of society, of which 
they had been assured by M^ & M" Erskine. 

But I fear the hopeless duration of the War 
will deprive us of the exhibition of this great 
actors talents. He has a large property in the 
Covent garden establishment, which will prob- 
ably induce him to make up the breach that 
now exists between them, and fix him forever 
after in London. — He talks of taking the 
Edinburgh Theatre for the next year, as the 
wife of the present Manager, M^ Henry 
Siddons, has just received very tempting 
proposals from London. — 

He goes to Dublin as soon as his present 
engagement in Edinb: is terminated. — 



I really think we should all like Kemble 
both on & off the Stage — he occasionally 
pays too much court to the bottle, but his 
transgressions are not frequent nor are they 
followed by such disgusting consequences, as 
we have witnessed in the case of poor George 
Fred: Cooke Esq^— 

He is now in fine health & his friends all say 
that he never acted better than he now does, 
altho' his face bears visible traces of the de- 
caying hand of time. — 

There is a comedian here of the name of 

Russell who is the only performer (out of 

London) competent to supply the loss of poor 

Twaits. — He is about 23 years of age, is an 

admirable mimic, sings uncommonly well, has 

a great command of features, with an irresist- 

ably comic face and possesses true humour. 

His line lies exclusively in low Comedy, he 

plays country boys with great feeling, & is 

equal to either Lister or Mathews in the 

Character of Somno, in the Sleep Walker — ^with 



the advantage of being able to mutate Bra- 
ham & Incledon to the Kfe. — Such an actor 
would be a real prize to either Price or our 
friend Billy Wood, for I reckon him now much 
below what he will be. — 

I will ask him how his engagement stands at 
present, and let you know what is his answer. 
I am so fond of the pleasures of the Theatre, 
that I should be glad in being instrumental to 
the acqviisition of such an actor as Russell. — 

Yoiu: brother desired me to enquire here for 

a purchaser of "Dtmlaps Life of Cooke" — ^but 

this is not the proper meridian for such a work, 

and Balantine referred the disposal of the 

MS to Mess: Longman & C° at the same time 

expressing great confidence in the success of 

such a Work. — Kemble says (entre nous) that 

Cookes journal is no better authority than a 

french bulletin, as it is a fact pretty notorious 

that he was prone to draw upon his drunken 

imagination for his sober facts. — 

I fear the publication of the work in America 


may injure its sale in G B — It is a thous^ 
pities that even a moi[e]ty of the MS had not 
been forwarded by the Oath: Ray, for the 
Booksellers seldom purchase without a perusal. 
— I shall endeavour in all that lies in my power 
to promote the success of the modest Dunlap — 

the subject possesses high interest in G B 

They all charge us with killing the great 
Cooke. — 

I sympathize heartily in the removal of our 
worthy patroon. I trust he will be well recom- 
pensed for his bitter exile. — This money get- 
ting necessity is as you justly observe a sore 
enemy in tearing assunder the bond's of society 
— I fear its urgency is often overrated — I shall 
return to its irksome toils with a heavy heart 
I doubt. — 

I have written to Gov: & shall be delighted 
to learn how he carries on the war among 
those scurvy patriots of the peninsula. 

What is my friend Peter about — and what 

is James doing? — I marvel they have not 



written to me; my letters (you well know) are 
in common to you all. — May they never feel 
the pain of being neglected whilst in foreign 
lands; had they felt it, I am sure they would 
not have failed to devote an hour to the grati- 
fication of one who sincerely loves them. — • 
But I almost absolve James in consequence of 
his attention to my good old parents, with 
whom Margaret writes me he has passed a 
day, yet I implore them both to write to me. — 
The HistT of "Brother Jon" has been 
republished in a 5/ form in London — & M- 
Rosco's paper in Liverpool has republished 
them with warm encomiums, James' senti- 
ments do him honor — ^they are free from vulgar 
prejudice — ^and the disputes are managed with 
a great deal of htmiour, yet I think he might 
have made more of the subject by taking 
more time ia writing the work. — The answer 
to it is contemptible in the lowest degree — 
that Drone Bristed has lost his sting, but a 
man is not likely to have lost what he never 

VOL. II. 6. 81 


possessed. — Had he wit enough to give his 
malice effect, he would be as acrid as Fluoric 
acid. — The mighty D- Mason has singular 
perspicacity in finding out such rare merit, 
as he boasts his proteg6 possessed of. — 

I rejoice with you my dear Washington in 
the recovery of M" Hoffman — no human 
being can be better fitted for the enjoyment 
of another & a better world, yet none can be 
found more precious to the hearts of her 
friends in this one. — 

I shall not neglect your hint respecting 
old odd Books — I have already got a number, 
and shall get many more in the purlieus of 
London. — 

The D' shall sit for his portrait, that I may 
carry it with me ; he never looked better, and is 
free from the slightest complaint — ^We keep 
up a regular fire through the P[ost] Office. — 

I am glad you have a likeness of Miss 

Boothe; she is one of the most bewitching 

■little sprights imaginable and I hope for 



many a merry hotir in her company when 
we meet in London. — 

I am now pretty well acquainted with the 
Itiminaries of Edinburgh and confess that 
among them all, Scott is the man of my choice ; 
he has not a grain of pride or affectation in 
his whole composition. Neither the voice of 
fame, nor the homage of the great have altered 
in the least the native simplicity of his heart. 
His days are spent in the domestic endear- 
ments of an amiable family, and in the society 
of a few select friends whom he entertains like 
Maecenas, and never fails to delight by setting 
an example of perfect good humotir & harmless 
conviviality. — 

He never goes to large parties, and never en- 
tertains them, indeed he seldom goes abroad. — 

Jeffrey excels him in brilliancy of conversa- 
tion, but Jeffrey always seems to be acting a 
studied part, and although his social feelings 
may be no less warm than Scotts, yet they are 

more or less disguised under a species of 



affectation. — His foible is an unceasing effort 
to act the high finished gentleman, conse- 
quently he is blessed with such an immaculate 
degree of taste as to contemn every thing in 
the whole world both moral & physical. — His 
friends (a limited band) esteem him a miracle 
of perfection, and in point of talent none will 
be found to contradict them, but as for the 
et ceteras, I would not give the Minstrel for a 
wilderness of Jeffreys. — 

The poem that I noticed in a former Letter, 
"The bridal of Triermain" is not yet pub- 
lished; the moment it sees the light I shall 
take care to send you a copy. 

The author chooses to be in the shade, but I 
fancy the sunshine of fame will soon draw him 
into light, for the poem has high merit, at 
least the two Cantos which I have been 
permitted to see. — 

You will find the commencement of it in the 

Edinb: Annual Register (I think) for 1809 — 

the last published. — 



The Town gives out my friend William 
Erskine as the author, but I suspect the Town 
is mistaken, although I think Erskine com- 
petent to write the Work. — Peter has probably 
m.entioned. Erskine to you; he is the person 
to whom Scott addresses one of his introduc- 
tions in Marmion. — I owe to his particular 
kindness much more than I can possibly pay; 
but if proclaiming his excellent qualities be 
thought a recompense, I am bound to offer 
much more than he would be willing to ac- 
cept. — 

I have sent so many remembrances to the 
Renwicks, that I am ashamed to say anything 
further on the subject. — I know M" Morison 
a sister of M' Gracie, a worthy old Lady whom 
I often visit & talk over N York topics, for 
she formerly resided there. — I have defended 
WilHams Duel so stoutly, that I am not 
without hope of inducing the conscientious 
old Lady to acknowledge that she would have 
done as much under similar circumstances. 



I might tell you a great deal about people 
with whom I am acquainted, of republican 
Lords, of whom I know two, but I know you 
will not care a farthing about them, therefore 
I shall let their names &c. repose in obscurity. 
— Indeed it becomes me to say something of 
others in order to relieve the eternal recur- 
rence of I & my renowned exploits. — 

There is one among the society of Edin- 
burgh whom I honor in the highest degree — 
I mean Professor Playfair — a man who unites 
the profundity of Newton with the simple soul 
of D'Alembert, whom it would be as impossible 
to describe as it would be vain to imitate. — 
His mind is lifted above all national prejudice; 
he sees & encourages merit from any quarter 
of the globe with an equal eye of approbation, 
and will condescend to receive the opinions 
of a child — It is no wonder that the Edinb: 
Review has acquired such renown, when one 
considers that such a man as Playfair lends 
his mighty assistance. — You will find in one 



one* of the early numbers a Review of the 
system of Laplace written by him. — ^Jeffrey 
has drawn his character with great spirit & 
truth in the Review, but I cannot direct you 
to the particular article. Such however was 
Mr P's simplicity & unconscious merit that 
he asked Jeffrey whom he had in view? — 

Erskine has promised to furnish me with 
the names of nearly all the different writers 
in the Review since the commencement. — ^A 
new number will be published in a month — 
Jeffreys various occupations often delays the 
publication of the work. — 

I have agaia written to my f 'd Lherbette 
to request his attention in fvimishing you with 
the periodical works of Literature & Science 
published in France — in order to escape cap- 
ture I have requested him to put them in 
charge of trusty Captains — ^When I return I 
hope to be of some use in assisting you in 
conductiag your work. — 




I have sent you an Edinb: Newspaper in 
which is announced a most important dis- 
covery in the means of producing cold. The 
writer is a M' Hutton of this place (a Writer 
to the Signet) — The intensity of cold pro- 
duced was so great as to congeal Alcohol — a 
circumstance which has never before happened. 
— He is now prosecuting his experiments in 
the hopes of congealing some of the gases, and 
as his discovery promises to be beneficial to his 
interest, he has not made known the manner 
of his process. — -The fact stated in the paper is 
unquestionably true. — I advise you to publish 
the paper in y^ work, and also insert a note 
from either the first or second number of 
Thomson's Annals of Philosophy which makes 
known a very recent discovery respecting 
Mercury by Berzelius a distinguished chemist 
of Stockholm. — 

Dt Hope tells me that Sir Humphry Davy 
is now making a series of sucessful exp'ts upon 
Fluoric acid, the result of which he thinks 



will confirm his new doctrine respecting 
Chlorine (oxymuriatic acid gas) — ^which he 
holds to be a simple & distinct acidifying 
substance, wholly uncombined with Oxygin 
& of a separate nature. — This is another 
circumstance of the highest moment for 
your journal. — ^This question now agitates the 
whole Chemical World; for if Davy succeeds 
in establishing his new doctrine of a dis- 
tinct acidifying principle from Oxygin the 
whole chemical nomenclature must undergo 
a revolution. 

Commend me to Ann & Charles & aU my 
dear fds. 

Your account of the two Kings of Brentford 
in a Letter to your brother (which he sent me 
for perusal) made me laugh heartily. — 

When a nation is agitated the scum which 

has long lain concealed at the bottom in 

noxious obscurity rises to the surface & is 

apt to offend the nostrils of modest men. — 

I charge you to write me immediately on 


receipt of this Letter — and unless you write 
at great length, I do not care about what, I 
shall construe it into a disrelish for my long 
epistles. — 

God bless you my d' fellow! 



LONDON, JUNE 24*11 18 13 

London, June 24— 18 13. 


My inconsiderate promises of returning 
home have for some time past deprived me of 
the pleasure of any direct communications 
from my friends in America & except through 
your brothers letters (who I am happy to say 
is still my companion) I should be entirely 
ignorant of their welfare. — 

We have been in London since the lo*-'' in- 
stant & have every reason to be gratified with 
our reception. — ^Among the persons who have 
interested us most are Sir James Mackintosh 
Miss Joanna Baillie, Wf Barbauld & M^ T 
Campbell, to all of whom we brought letters of 
introduction. — I have also had the pleasure 
of meeting Miss Edgeworth frequently; she 
left town a few days ago for Ireland after 
having completely gone the rounds of fashion 
& admiration. — 

Madam De Stael has just arrived from 

Sweden & is likely to meet with a recep- 


LONDON, JUNE 24^1 1813 

tion from the beau Monde not less dis- 
tinguished. — 

I saw her last evening at Drury lane; she 
has a very reverend black beard, and features 
that correspond to it; but I forget that you 
have seen her. — M" Siddons played Lady 
Randolph for the benefit of the Theatrical 
fvmd. This is the third time that I have 
had the good fortune to witness her playing, 
besides hearing her read the whole play of 
Hamlet. — 

I have not words to express the sublimity 
of her performance last evening; the whole 
audience were completely at her mercy, and 
the Theatre echoed with sobs & shrieks and 
bravos. — She has been strongly solicited to 
return to the stage & report makes her en- 
gaged to act a given number of nights next 
season — that is, for her own emoUxunent. — 

I had another Theatrical treat some nights 

ago at Listons benefit — Hamlet Travesty 

was acted — Ophelia by M^ Liston, Hamlet 


LONDON, JUNE 24th 18 13 

by Mathews — Nothing could be more ridicu- 
lous — ^Hamlet addressed the Ghost by the 
tune of "Oh, Miss Baillie!"— & "To be" etc. 
was set to a filthy tune accompanied with 
his own performance on the Violin. — Sweet 
Ophelia presented the King & Queen with a 
bunch of parsnips & a head of Cabbage, 
reserving for her own munching a stout 
Turnip. — 

Laertes & Hamlet contested for his Majes- 
ties Wager a la Cribb, & poor Laertes (Little 
Simmons) got soundly pimimelled; — ^gloves 
were substituted for foils. — 

I beg you to mention in order to allay the 

little jealousies that might arise or may have 

arisen in the fair bosoms of my cotmtry- 

women — that the* five distinguished members 

of the blue stocking sisterhood ( I forgot Mad : 

D'Arblay who is now in London) are all 

remarkably dwarfish — ^if all their personal 

advantages were combined they would not 

furnish out one tolerably pretty woman. 


LONDON, JUNE 24^ 1813 

Such is the rigid impartiahty of nature in 
the distribution of her high attributes. 

Mad: De Stael has a new work — Mis Ed: 
has left one of her immortal ofiEspring in the 
hands of a Bookseller, & Mad: D'Arblay is 
putting the finishing hand to a fourth novel — 
who is to win the race of popularity I will not 
be so bold as to predict. — 

De Stael is certainly the prancing Arabian, 
with a rain bow neck and flaming mane — Edg : 
a tough little Irish poney accustomed to boggy 
roads and mail coaches & sure never to fly the 
course. — ^As to D'Arblay she is something 
between both, but I do not think she will come 
in first. — 

We go • to Birmingham next week after 

visiting some interesting spots in the vicinity 

of London — ^We have a letter to deliver to D? 

Her[s]chell whose family we already know. — 

Sir J Mackintosh is a most accomplished 

man indeed — His Hist^ goes forward slowly 

owing to rather delicate health. He comes into 


LONDON, JUNE 24th 1813 

Parliament immdy but I fear his eloquence 
will be too refined for the wrangling contests 
of S- Stephens Chapel. 

I wish ardently that the Gov- would 
appoint him minister to the U States. — 
He will necessarily be obliged in the course of 
his His^ to write an account of our revolution 
— ^his views of that glorious event are lofty & 
enlightened, & I have no doubt he will do 
ample justice to the cause of liberty, — & 
America. — ^And now having made you slightly 
acquainted with these eminent personages, let 
me have a higher gratification in making you 
personally known to one of the most distin- 
guished literary ornaments of this Country- — 
I mean Francis Jeffrey Esq^ of Edinburgh the 
Conductor of the Review. — 

He is to embark from Liverpool on the 
Ship Hercules by the 5 of next month for 
Boston accompanied by his brother M- John 
J. for the purpose of settling some domestic 
concerns. — I am deeply indebted to him, 


LONDON, JUNE 24*!! 1813 

both for his hospitality to me in Edinb: as 
well as for the letters he gave me to persons 
in London; I have endeavoured to repay him 
by giving him a letter to you, one to M' 
Hoffman, one to our friend M" Renwick 
(who is his namesake) & another to Judge 
Van Ness, besides many others to different 
parts of America. — 

I enjoin it upon you all to receive him in the 
most friendly manner, so that I may make 
some returns to him. — Try to make a match 
between him & Miss Wilkes; possibly the 
affair may not be beyond the control of the 

I really cannot fix upon any man in this 

Country whose acquaintance is better worth 

cultivating than M' J You will find 

him full of the most precise as well as universal 

knowledge of men & things on this side the 

Water, which he will delight to communicate 

as copiously as you please. — ^You will do well 

to see as much of him as you can; he will be 


LONDON, JUNE 24th 1813 

glad to make friends with you & after you 
have become reconciled to somewhat of an 
artificial manner, you will find him one of the 
most sprightly & best tempered men imagin- 
able. — 

I have not given him Letters to James or to 
Peter; you will of course render that ceremony 
unnecessary by asking them to call upon him 
with you. — 

As his introductory Letters will be chiefly 
to persons connected with the Federal party I 
wish you to make him known to both sides — 
It is essential that Jeffrey may imbibe a just 
estimate of the U States & its inhabitants, he 
goes out strongly biassed in our favor, and 
the influence of his good opinion upon his 
return to this Country would go far to efface 
the calumnies & the absurdities that have been 
laid to our charge by ignorant travellers. — 
Persuade him to visit Washington if Congress 
has not risen & by all means to see the falls of 
Niagara; the obstacles which the war may 

VOL. II. — 7- 97 

LONDON, JUNE 24th 18 13 

oppose may be easily overcome, & at all events 
he may see them without even crossing into 
Canada. — 

As his business is wholly of a private na- 
ture, neither political nor commercial I hope 
Government will not limit his motions. 

■ Your brother has also given M- J — letters 
to you. — 

Mr. De Kantzow (the Ambassador from 
Sweden) who is so good as to take charge of 
this, has a letter of introduction to you from 
your brother. — His wife & two daughters ac- 
company him; I have given them a Letter to 
John Jacob. — 

They are very amiable people & you will 

perform a charitable service to them by aiding 

the first impressions made by the Country in 

which they are in future to reside. — M- De 

Kantzow seems a very good old gentleman & if 

he had any hand in the Treaty lately concluded 

between this Country & Sweden, he needs no 

higher elogium on his diplomatic abilities. — 


LONDON, JUNE 24* 1813 

M" De K & her daughters are very affa- 
ble & well bred — ^They have a packet for 
Margaret (directed tinder cover to Capt, 
Whetten) — I wish she may be furnished with 
an opportunity of acknowledging their polite- 
ness. — 

Before I left Edinburgh I presented Walter 
Scott with a copy of the second Ed : of Knicker- 
bocker, in return for some very rare Books 
that he gave me respecting the early History 
of New England. — I enclose you a Letter that 
I received from him since; you must under- 
stand his words literally for he is too honest 
& too sincere a man to compliment any 
person. — 

We are very anxious to see Charles King 
who we understood has arrived at Lisbon 
but we fear that he will not get to London 
before we take our departure. 

Our last Letters from Gov : & the Supercargo 

reported favourably of the health & spirits 

of these estimable personages. — Harry is the 


LONDON, JUNE 24* 18 13 

admiration of the black eyed Donnas of 

I hardly know what to say about the period 
of my returning home — perhaps some time 
in the month of August. — The Continental 
scheme grows less likely; the expense my dear 
boy the expense frightens me. — 

Mere Existence in this plentiful Land is at 
a fearful purchase, so that my purse begins to 
exhibit alarming symptoms of decay. — 

M' Payne* has acquitted himself most 
successfully in the characters of Nerval & 
Romeo — Your brother will send you particu- 
lars. — 

I beg my most cordial remembrance to all 
our friendly circle. — 

I am My d^ I— affect y? 

H. B. 

* John Howard Payne. 



New York, Oct: 2i 1818. 


I send you a minute statement of a dis- 
gusting dispute & its consequences forced 
upon me by a person named Harvey Strong — 
You will perceive it to have been one of these 
unavoidable occurences incident to men of 
the most imoffending dispositions. — I wish 
you to set the affair in its true light to any 
who may have noticed the filthy advertise- 
ments of Strong in our Newspapers — The 
statement is enclosed to M- Richards, who 
will peruse it, & transmit it to you. — ^Possibly 
you may think I have treated this vile brawl 
with disproportionate importance — ^but I can- 
not rest until the calumny is effectually 
refuted. — The sentence of the Court & Jury in 
distinctly acquitting me from every imputa- 
tion • of Strong, was decisive as to public 
opinion in New York & elsewhere — ^but I am 
happy to say that without this formality, 
those who had the slightest knowledge of me, 


regarded M- Strong's advertisement as the 
libels of a miscreant who had been chastised in 
the manner he deserved. — 

The fine of 2^0$ imposed by M- Golden 
exclusively for a breach of the peace, was 
considered by every person who attended to 
the trial, as exorbitant & unwarranted by the 
offence, (notwithstanding the very handsome 
concessions &c., &c. made to me in delivering^ 
the sentence of the Court.) — 

The affair derived its sole importance from 
the base conduct of our editors, especially 
Mr Noah, of the Advocate, whose apology was 
not a sufficient atonement for his misconduct. 
— If every blackguard who can pay for the 
insertion of an advertisement, may be per- 
mitted to calumniate any person in the com- 
munity, the peace of society is at an end — 
The laws of the land, as expounded by M' 
Golden, inflict 250 $ penalty for chastising a 
person with every circumstance of justifica- 
tion — Yet these laws yield no adequate 


redress for the defilement of a mans reputa- 
tion in the public prints — But I will not add 
another word to a subject which has ter- 
minated so entirely as I could have wished, 
and which has already sunk into oblivion — 

You will perceive that another dispute 
somewhat analogous to mine was settled 
lately on the Jersey shore. — That delicate 
arbiter of honor "the public" is I believe now 
" amply satisfied with the meeting which took 
place between Perry & Heath and by Perry's 
receiving the fire of his adversary with a deter- 
mination of not returning it. — This unhappy 
lapse of temper and its consequences have 
been festering in the breast of Perry — He is 
now enabled to stand erect in all the glory of 
his well earned reputation. — 

Paulding is still with us — Certain gossips 

report that his wedding cake is actually 

manufacturing. — I take it for granted he will 

shortly be married. — His new poem, "The 

Backwoodsman " has not yet been published — 



he intends it as an experiment upon the public 
taste, of a work composed exclusively of local 
feelings & manners — but he is by no means 
sanguine of success. — 

We have resolved to pass the winter at 
Bloomingdale — ^my Wife wills it so — ^and I 
concur without much reluctance — She bids 
me assure you of her kindest regards. — ^You 
can scarcely conceive how quietly and cheer- 
fully we live — Life seems to have doubled its 
interest by my new ties — ^Without adopting 
any Utopian scheme of happiness, or indeed 
any shows whatever, we go on our way re- 
joicing, and find our chiefest sources of 
enjoyment at our own fireside. 

About ten days since we had a grand 
christening — ^We brought five children to M^ 
Jarvis with a numerous attendance of grand- 
fathers, mothers, etc. — Our friend M" Ren- 
wick was the proudest of the group, inasmuch 
as she furnished three of the five children, 

viz. one of Margaret's & two of Bob's. — 



You probably know that Gary is to be married 
in January next, at Charleston, to Miss Pyne, 
a Lady every way worthy of his choice — He 
has purchased a House in Chamber Street. — 
My Lord March is to be coupled at the same 
place, to M" Hutchinson a pretty senti- 
mental Widow with two spoiled children and 
a comfortable estate. — ^Another of the Miss 
Pynes was married a year or two since to 
Colonel Bankhead, who I think I have heard 
you speak of as of your circle of acquaintance 
when in Paris. — 

I met the Vice President the day before 
yesterday, he seemed rejoiced to hear of you 
& expressed a strong wish that you might 
speedily return home — I hardly dare to press 
this subject further — but I do with all my 
soul wish you may come back to us. — I learn 
from Paulding that your Brother W? has 
lately made very strong representations to 
you, & I sincerely hope you will yield to 

them.— ^ 



M- Tavish (with his family) has just 
passed on to Baltimore — ^he is to return im- 
mdy to Montreal & join Simon M^Gillivray, 
afterwards they are to come to N York & 
embark for Liverpool about the middle of 
NovT — M- Tavish goes on family affairs to 
the Highlands of Scotland. 

Jack Nicolson passed some time among 
us lately — ^he is still desperately bent upon 
inflicting on himself the blessings of Matri- 
mony — ^but Cupid invariably protests against 
the deed. — 

George Johnston still governs the Colony 

& maintains his usual ascendency in the 

Mother Country — Miss Bradish (it is a 

mighty secret) they say is engaged to Major 

Biddle, a brother of the gallant little Captain 

— I have no doubt the report will prove true. 

Charles Nicholas' mother died lately and I 

understand left about 30,000 $ to the surprise 

of her fds. — 

The Swartwouts have been at the lowest ebb 


of fortune — but the appointment of Rob* to 
the Navy agency (vice BuUen deceased) has 
shed a ray of hope upon their future prospects. 
— Their speculation remains a dead weight 
upon their hands, and any partial relief from 
their fds would only be engulphed in this 
vortex. — 

Gouv: Kemble is getting on bravely with 
his foundary, and I doubt not will make it a 
profitable concern — My brother John is his 
right hand man, and gives promise of becom- 
ing a very clever fellow. — 

Kemble has a most convenient mansion 
nearly completed, and intended for the recep- 
tion of his fds & associates in the foundary 
enterprize — He has reserved an apartment 
expressly for you. — 

And now my dear Irving having exhausted 
my mind of all that can directly interest you — 
I say vale & God bless you! 

H. B. y. 



I have not mentioned my friend Peter, be- 
cause when I write to you I conceive that I 
am addressing you both — 

I hear with great satisfaction that M' 
Van Wart is reistablished in a prosperous 
business — 


Bloomingdale, Sept. g- i8ig. 


Just as I was preparing to answer your 
Letter of 10 July, I had the pleasure to receive 
by the Amity y^ Letter of the 28 July. — 
. I hope we shall soon receive the 4- number, 
which you state was nearly completed. — 
The 3- number will be published on Monday 
the 1 3-. — ^we were retarded a few days by 
not getting the paper from M- Thomas — 
The orders for Boston, Phil : & Baltimore were 
forwarded this day, in order that the publica- 
tion may be cotemporanious, a point very 
much insisted on by the Craft. — The edition of 
the first number has all been sold ; of the 2? N? 
only 150 Copies remain unsold — The demand 
rises in every quarter. — ^The 2? Edit: of N? i 
will be put to press next week; your correc- 
tions shall be carefully inserted, and the 
pimctuation somewhat diminished. It was 
not owing to your MS, but to the scrupulous- 
ness of Van Winkle — I had made objections 



to it for the reasons you have stated. The 
2? Edit: of N? i will be put to press i'n a few 
days. The 2? Edit: of N? 2 will also follow 
that of N? I , as soon as possible. I am truly 
delighted to find you were pleased with the 
style of your reappearance — I think you fully 
entitled to it — ^besides it was necessary in 
order to justify the price of the work. — Long 
ere this, you must have rec? my Letters with 
the Copies of N°' i & 2, and I take it for 
granted that my representations (which I 
assure you are very conscientious) will en- 
courage you to exertion. It is a point uni- 
versally agreed upon, that your work is an 
honor to American literature as well as an 
example to those who aspire to a correct & 
eloquent style of composition. — The Book- 
sellers have so far as we have gone, punctually 
complied with their engagements, & I have 
reason to believe that they will continue to 
do so. — 

I hope you have drawn upon me for the 



profits of the Work, & that you will continue 
to do so. — 

By the p Monroe I have forwarded to 
Richards five copies of N° 3 — The price is 
printed 62^ Cents on the cover, instead of 
75 Cents — ^this error was corrected after a 
few copies had been struck off. I have also 
inclosed the two last N°^ of Salmagundi. 
P, is making sad work of it. — He applied to 
me for hints for a paper on the subject of my 
whimsical old father & the economy of his 
feathered kingdom. — I could not find the 
papers that I had written on the subject some 
years since; He has however completed an 
essay from several hints given him, which will 
do pretty well. — 

I could not well refuse him "in his utmost 

need, " but I would rather he had not broached 

the subject, as I did intend at some future 

time to have filled up the outline myself; 

iadeed I would have done it for him, on the 

present occasion, had he requested me, but 



he seems resolved upon literary suicide — ^in 
other words to destroy himself solely by his 
own means. — I am really astonished how he 
can possibly write so much below his natural 
capacity, and not perceive it. I suspect he 
regrets his rash attempt, but as he has not 
chosen to say as much, I cannot take upon 
myself to advise him frankly. — His wife is 
very well, and has lately given birth to a son. — 
I think you are mistaken in supposing your 
brother W dissatisfied respecting the Wash- 
ington affair — I had a long talk with him a 
day or two since, in the course of which he 
adverted to that business, and seemed rather 
to have yielded to the justness of your objec- 
tions. — ^He expressed great remorse at his 
long silence to you, and resolved to take pen 
in hand and write you a long epistle by way 
of atonement. — He retains his old habit of 
burthening himself with a world of unneces- 
sary cares and vexations — In walking the 
street, he seems literally bent downward, 


with at least a dozen gratuitous years — yet 
his heart is as mellow and his sensibilities 
just as acute as ever. — 

He was very much disappointed in the 
Consulship of M — s. The place I believe 
had been kept in reserve for the new occupant. 
— I wish with all my heart, something better 
than this may present itself. 

You desire some particulars of my family 
economy &c — I hardly know how to descend 
to partictdars — each day seems to glide away 
with nearly the same sources of occupation, 
without the slightest wish for novelty — ^We 
reside beyond the limits of new friends, and 
our old ones number very few indeed. — Our 
son is of course a most important personage 
in the family — Books and music are the next 
sources of comfort & amusement, besides a 
garden, &c, &c. — But I am determined not to 
let you into the arcana of our affairs until you 
come to us, and be fairly initiated. — ^We are 
resolved to marry you at once, and then 

VOL. II. — 8. 113 


of course by the aid of our example, every 
other consequence will naturally follow. — M'. 
Gracie threw out a hint that you might dis- 
appoint us in this scheme by adventuring for 
yourself in England; but M' G (you know) is 
a very profane joker. — 

The Renwicks are as well and happy as it is 
possible for them to be under the misfortunes 
which have beset them — J & Robert will get 
through their difficulties within two months — 
they are at present on the limits — James 
bears all, with his accustomed calmness & 
resignation — He comes Home every Sunday. 
— My brother the Capt has just returned from 
India, very well & in fine spirits. — My wife is 
very solicitous of passing the approaching 
winter at Charleston — I have not yet con-, 
eluded upon leaving New York. — 

The City is very much alarmed respecting 

Yellow fever, but from the best information 

I can obtain, there is no real foundation for 




M" Banch is in our neighborhood, looking 
very ill — ^it is feared of consumption. — Louisa 
Govemeur (they say) is engaged to MJ 
Cambreling — ^Young Golden is shortly to pair 
off with Fanny Wilkes. — 

M": Tavish is arrived by the Amity — I am 
going to Town in the morning to see him. — I 
hope he has seen much of you in England. — 
My Wife desires her kindest regards. — ^Her 
Son understands French perfectly — ^but has 
not yet ventured to speak. He has the 
benefit of a French nurse. 

I have hardly room to say that I am affects 


H. B. 


New York, November g- 181Q. 


The 4*.'' N? will be published tomorrow — • 
I have given Ebenezer 5 Copies of it, to be 
forwarded in the Albion by a private hand. — 
I have rec*? your Letter of the 21 Sep: with 
corrected copies of N° i & 2. — ^We have just 
got 40 Reams of paper from M^ Donaldson 
made by contract at 7 doU^ payable in 6 
months — the quality pleases me so much that 
I intend to give him another contract for 85 
Reams to be manufac^ immediately, and to be 
paid for in 6 & 9 months. Paper cannot be 
made in the Winter, and we shall want by the 
month of March 75 Reams for 2^. editions of 
1-2 & 3 and 50 Reams for N° 5 & 6. — The 
printer will put the 2 edit^ to press on Friday. 
— Pray send a corrected copy of No. 3? — 

A few days si*nce a letter was addressed to 

me by M^ Wharton of Phil: at the request 

of M' Thomas, proposing that your fds 

should redeem iioo Copies of the 3? Edit: of 


NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 9*!? 181 9 

Knickerbocker which had been assigned by 
M' Thomas upon condition of their being 
relinquished to you, after paying the demands 
of the printer papermaker &c amounting to 
^1000. (which am* would be due in a few 
months). — The Edit: you know consisted 
of 1500 Copies — after consulting with your 
brother William — I answered M*: W's Let- 
ter, by stating the willingness of y^ fds to 
comply with his terms — and (as his Letter 
was somewhat ambiguous) desired to know 
whether the 400 deficient copies were to be 
paid for by M^ Thomas, or deducted from the 
1000^ — He has not replied to my Letter, but 
no doubt, you are to look to M^ Thomas, for 
the 400 Copies, which he has sold, and of 
which I do not believe you will receive a single 
dollar. — 

Before I leave N York for Charleston, which 
is fixed for the 20*?" I will again see your 
brother William and request him to redeem 

the HOC Copies. — 



As M^ Thomas has always professed that in 
publishing the 3^ edit : he acted solely as your 
agent & for your benefit, without any inten- 
tion of making deductions for his services — ■ 
I look upon this transaction as a breach of 
faith towards you — and that he is no longer 
entitled to the indulgence of vending the S, 
Book, exclusive of the hazard you run of losing 
500 Copies of each Number. — The 500 Copies 
of N? 4 will therefore be sold to Mathew 
Cary & Son, instead of M' Thomas — I shall 
explain to him my motives for this proceeding 
— Your brothers (to whom I have made known 
the affair) are decidedly in favor of this 
change. — ^At present Mr. Thomas* ace* for 
the S B is nearly balanced. — 

After distributing the 4*?" Number — I shall 

settle accounts with the purchasers, as well 

as with the printer, and advise you of the 

Balance in your favor, which will be payable 

within 90 days. — Your brother Ebenezer will 

then take charge of N? 5 and the 2^ Editions 


NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 9!!? 18 19 


— I shall give him every sort of information 
as to the manner of managing the Work.^ 
When I return in March, I will cheerfully 
resiune the guardianship of your Work. — 

Pray write y^ brother Ebez^ whether you 
wiU have 4000 instead of 2000 Copies, printed, 
of the succeeding ntunbers. The last 2000 
may be marked 2 Edit: for the sake of uni- 
formity. — By this arrangement you will save 
45 $ (so the printer assured me at the com- 
mencement of the work) on each Number — on 
the other hand you will be deprived of the 
opportunity of correcting the 2 Edit? which 
you may deem equivalent to the additional 
expense. — The article "Jn? Bull" is in the 
hands of your Brother. Your Letter of the 
9 Sep' by the Atlantic has just reached me. 
I am rejoiced to find you so well pleased with 
the S Book &c, &c. — I cannot help remarking 

on what you say respecting Miss G that 

to the best of my recollection I paid her 

brother $2 for copying Philip. — The article in 



the E Post was written by me, at Coleman's 
request, and published under the Editorial 
head as his own — dont let this lessen your 
good will towards the Squire, for he assured 
me that the article expressed exactly what he 
felt & would have written. Had it been 
otherwise depend upon it he would have 
shaped the notice to his own liking. — I hope 
you saw the criticism in the last North A 
Review — I have not been able to get the 
Number. — ^The work is in future to be con- 
ducted by M- Everett. — I will write to you 
again before I go to Charleston. 
I am My d' I, 

Affects Y? 
H. Brevoort J' 

I wish you would permit Murray to pub- 
lish your work. — He might publish a voliune 
comprising 5 numbers. 



New York, April — 1820. 


It is a long while since I have written to 
you, but still longer since I have received any 
of your Letters. As this interruption of our 
correspondence has been entirely casual, I am 
determined to break silence first and set you a 
good example. I always begin with my private 
affairs, and I expect you to do the same. I 
am entitled to this mark of your confidence, 
especially as no one of your friends partici- 
pates with more sincerity , every thing that 
concerns you either of good or evil. 

I returned from Charleston two months 
ago, chiefly to prepare for building a House. 
Previous to my departure I was enriched by 
the birth of second Son — My wife has entirely 
recovered her health, and will join me early 
in May. I have taken a House in Hudson 
Square (J Murray's) for the next year, after- 
wards I hope we may enjoy a Home of our 

own. The vagrant sort of life that I have led 



some time past, makes me doubly impatient 
for the return of my family and a renewal of 
domestic comforts. — 

M"'-' Renwick has given up her place at 
Bloomingdale & taken a House in White 
Street — She has sustained many losses, but 
retains an income quite adequate to a com- 
fortable establishment. James & Margaret 
are to reside at my father's and with us, until 
he can find employment which at this moment 
is nearly hopeless. The Ins: Company has 
lately abolished the life department, and 
thereby deprived James of his last source of 
income. — These cruel reverses of fortune are 
endured by them patiently, but a long time 
must elapse before hope can be renewed, and 
old times forgotten. — In this City fortune is 
resolved to let no one escape her caprices: the 
whole aspect of domestic life has changed 
since you left us. — ^AU the ordinary sources 
of industry seem to have closed — a great 

portion of the Houses in the City are to let, & 



their inhabitants obliged to seek a livelihood 
elsewhere. — ^Amidst the general pressure of 
the times your work augments in popularity. — 
The last number is highly relished, particularly 
the Legend, which in my opinion is one of 
the best articles you have written — It unites 
all the excellencies of your old & new manner of 
writing. The old people are surprised at your 
accurate recollections of the localities of the 
place & its inhabitants. — My old uncle Ab" a 
mighty warrior of the olden time, entertained 
me with a commentary on every name that 
you have mentioned, even to Brom Bones 
whom he recognizes for his first friend Brom 
Byce. — ^He says Dolter Martling had a share in 
the exploit you have recorded, but that some- 
body Nestle was the real hero, inasmuch as he 
never was able to walk afterwards, by reason 
of the wind of a Cannon Ball which wounded 
him in the small of the back! — ^Judge Benson 
has even promised to read it, but he stoutly 

maintains that you are not a true dutchman, 



as your name testifieth. — I hinted to him 

that I should not be greatly surprised if an 

answer were written to his toyings with your 

Wife, but he insists that neither that, nor any 

other production of his pen, can be answered 

by mortal man. "No Sir I never write things 

that can be answered Sir. " Verily the old Gent : 

speaketh truly — ^He has since left word, that 

he wishes me to call on him for a corrected 

copy of his remarks, to be forwarded to you. 

I am anxious to learn how your Vol : is rec"? in 

England. — In the Feb : Nimiber of Blackwood, 

which I have this moment seen, you are very 

highly complimented. I think you will become 

a great favourite in England — ^nor should I be 

surprised that they lay claims to you ; proving 

their rights by your name & the purity of your 

style. — Paulding's Salmagundi died the death 

at the 10*'' Ntunber. — John Bull seems to 

have taken the Backwoodsman into especial 

favor ; this may induce the author to relent in 

his wordy warfare with that personage. — 



I send you a copy of The Bucktail Bards 
at the request of G C VerPlanck, who is the 
author of all that stands in the name of Pindar 
Puff as well as the Notes. — Dirk Shift is 
by John Duer. — ^Ver P should pause before 
he enlists in the unprofitable contest between 
Clinton & Tompkins. — It reminds one of 
Goldsmith's Dust & Dung. — I suspect that 
Ver P is somewhat influenced by personal 
resentment against the Magnus — 

I have also inclosed a pamphlet with the 
correspondence between Decatur & Barron. — 

I regret that I cannot give any particulars 
of the last moments of our gallant friend; he 
is said to have expressed regrets at having 
given Barron the meeting. — ^He certainly 
might have avoided it, as you wUl perceive 
by the correspondence. 

It is one of those dreadful events which will 

not bear reflection. — Poor M" D, I understand 

[is] in a sort of stupor — ^her heart seems parched 

with misery, which denies her even the con- 



solation of a tear. He had taken the pre- 
caution to assemble her friends around her 
previous to the fatal rencontre. — 

Kemble is in Town. The Foundery con- 
cern promises better than ever — by the 
Autumn we expect it will realize its promises, 
which have been rather long winded. — Gouv: 
has done all that man can do for the interests 
of the concern. — 

Your Brother W" appears to be apprehen- 
sive that neither you nor the Doctor are 
sufficiently aware of the zeal which he has 
shewn in the promotion of your interests. — 
I can only say that to my knowledge he has 
never been backward in doing all that was in 
his power to do. — 

The circle of his existence is apparently 
narrower than ever; and the peculiarities of 
his character have rather grown upon him 
than otherwise. — I think some acknowledg- 
ment of your sense of his goodwill & kind 

disposition would give hun great satisfaction, 



Ebenezer tells me that you & the D' were 
on the eve of a trip to the Continent — but I 
presume this letter will find you returned. — 
Pray write to me, and do not put me off with 
half a dozen lines, but indulge in a long letter. — 

My d^ I 

ever affec'^ Y^ 

H. B., J^ 


New York, November — 1820. 


This is the first conveyance that has ofifered 
for Havre since I received your letter dated 
the 22'^ at Paris. — 

I have held frequent conversations with 
your brothers on the subject of your letter, 
and have said all that I could possibly say in a 
case of so much delicacy. — Prom the beginning 
they have expressed themselves averse to the 
prudence of your enterprize, and on that 
ground solely, they have decided not to give 
it their support — ^The nature of their objec- 
tions will be communicated by themselves. — 
I offered to come under advances on your part 
for ^5000, to be refunded by the future avails 
of your literary property, which no doubt 
will eventually produce that amount. But 
Ebenezer is of opinion, that it would not be 
worth your attention to engage in the project 
unless with the full amount of capital proposed. 

■ — I am really at a loss to express myself on the 



result of this business — I fear you will be 
bitterly disappointed — How far success might 
have attended your project I am incompetent 
to judge; I have not seen your Letters to your 
brothers, but I take it for granted that you 
viewed the subject on all sides — I can only 
venture to hope that your calculations of 
advantage may turn out [not] to have been 
too sanguine. 

Before I quit the subject I must remark 
confidentially, that I have reason to believe, 
that the motives of my zeal in your con- 
cerns have been misunderstood by your 
brothers W" & Ebenezer. Whether they 
think my participations intrusive, or that 
the affairs you have hitherto entrusted with 
me, have been withheld from them, I know 
not, but it is certain that I have felt some 
rude intimations on this subject which I 
would rather dispense with in the future. 
— I do not think it worth while to be of- 
fended with them on this matter, but I 

VOL. II. 9. 129 


thought it a duty to discharge my conscience 
by telling you. — 

My wife begs you will do her the favor to 
purchase a dozen popular airs, waltzes & 
dances, simple or with variations, for the Harp. 
The music of Bochsa is always good, but not 
so well adapted for society as the compositions 
of less scientific or polished composers. She 
would prefer you should select any agreeable 
lively music of the above named description 
by fashionable composers — M^ Beasely will 
find a conveyance for them to N York, — 

I wish you would call on my old f? 
Lherbette; he is well settled in Paris and can- 
not fail to prove an agreeable and valuable 
acquaintance — Should you see him pray give 
my kindest regards. — Have you met M" & 
Miss Cruger — they were our neighbors at 
Bloomingdale. — 

James Renwick is to be appointed Prof: of 

Nat: Phil: in Col: College— this is the first 

ray of sunshine he has felt for a long while. 



The salary will be 1500 $ to be augmented to 
^2500 so soon as the funds of the Col: will 
permit — My kindest regard to your brother. 
My Wife begs to be rememb*^. — I am My d' I, 
Aif ec': Y^ 

H. Brevoort, J^ 



New York, January 8-, 1821. 


I hope you rec^ my last letter dated in 
November, especially as I learn since, that 
your brother did not write by the same con- 
veyance. — To the subject of that Letter, I 
have no wish to recur, but I am very anxious 
to hear what variations it has produced in 
your views. — 

As usual, I have little to say except the 
local occurrences of the day. — Renwick has 
been appointed to the professorship of Exp: 
Phil: & Chemistry in Col: College— On 
Tuesday he delivered an inaugural lecture 
which gave universal satisfaction. 

The Trustees seemed resolved to raise the 

reputation of the College to the first rank. 

When the funds are adequate, VerPlanck is to 

be appointed Prof: of Rhetoric. At present 

there are five professors viz, Adraine — Nat: 

Moore — ^Anthon — M'rVickar & Renwick. — Dr. 

JHarris is the President. — 



Our greatest novelty of late is M' Kean. 
He played sixteen nights in the Anthony S* 
Theatre to crowded audiences & with enthusi- 
astic applause. A small party of dissentients, 
composed of M' Cooper' s patriotic admirers, 
protested against Kean's merits. Induced 
by their zeal & by his own confidence Cooper 
immediately succeeded Kean in several char- 
acters but drew very thin audiences. He saw 
Kean in Sir Giles & Lear, and pronounced his 
acting to be mere trick. Kean mortified him 
by keeping from the Theatre, throughout his 
engagement. — The consequence is that their 
admirers have declared open war — In point 
of genius & skill in acting Kean is greatly 
above him — ^but Cooper's person & voice give 
him an advantage in playing two or three 
characters. He has gone to New Orleans & 
Kean to Philadelphia, accompanied by Price 
& Jack Nicolson — The worthy Capt is quite 
enamoured with his new acquaintance — Price 

gave him 50 £ Stg. for each performance, 



(exclusive of benefits) in N York. The 
Houses averaged ^900. It is said he has 
agreed to pay him the same sum in lieu of 
half the proceeds of Kean's engagement in 

Price who is overloaded with debt, swaggers 
in his usual way, by his great success — ^He 
threatens Beekman & Astor, with building a 
new Theatre, unless they comply with his 
proposals for the one now rebuilding. — He has 
engaged Philips the Singer for the next season 
and is resolved to take the field against Astor 
& B, at all events, in the Bam in Anthony 
Street. — 

M^ Kean brought me a letter of introduc- 
tion from a Lady in Edinbtirgh. His manners 
are very gentlemanlike — He sings with ex- 
quisite taste & his various imitations are very 
clever. — 

His conduct in New York has been very 

guarded, and all who have become acquainted 

with him concur in extolling him — Never- 



theless, I am inclined to believe that his 
former habits have been somewhat at variance 
with his present ones. He returns in June 
by the way of Italy, where his family are to 
join him. — On New Year's day, he dined at 
Jn° R. Livingstons with a party of forty 
persons, among'which were Cooper the Bishop 
& Phil: Brasher! — Everything went left 
handed & a score of absurdities were com- 

A public dinner was given him by about 
thirty persons at the City Hotel, which went 
off very well. Upon the whole I think Kean's 
success has been as great or very nearly so, as 
Cooke's although his merits are certainly not 
in the same rank. — 

What do you intend to do with the 
Sketch Book? Are we to have no more 
numbers P^Paulding has lately published a 
whole Vol of Salmagundi — ^it is the last. 
What new project he has on hand I know not. 

— If you meet with anything new in Paris, 



that you think well written pray send it 
to me. — 

My wife & boys are very well — she begs me 
to present her kindest regards to you. — ^We 
shall remove by the i May to the new House 
N° 15 Broad Way. — I have fitted up a very 
snug room for a Library, which I hope you will 
enjoy. — My good old parents are as well as 
usual. — Kemble is now on a visit to us — ^W" 
Kemble's wife has a daughter. — I called on 
New Year's day on M" Hofifinan whom I 
had not seen for a long while. — Hoffman has 
joined the party ascendant, but I fear no 
office will be given to him. — ^AU the present 
incumbents of offices are to be renamed at 
the meeting of the New Council on the 15 
Feb^ his Worship the Mayor among the rest. 
— My warmest regards to yoiu: brother- — and 
believe me most affect Y! 



NEW YORK, MAY 7^^ 1821 

New York, May f- 1821. 


After a long interval of time I received your 
Letter of March loth. — The explanation of 
your motives for remaining abroad (I am 
sorry to say) are quite satisfactory. I did not 
intend to give you pain by interrogating you 
on the subject, and so, for the future let it rest. 

I am glad to learn that you are earnestly 
engaged with your pen. Success must have 
given you confidence & as to the resources of 
your mind, in my opinion they are more 
abundant than you are yet aware of. — 

Do you intend to continue your sketches 
in different parts of the continent? The 
design would be admirable were it possible 
for you to become sufficiently at home in 
France Switzerland & Italy. — But perhaps 
you have hit upon other subjects. — 

It is true that I have withdrawn from 

mercantile affairs — ^whether I am justified 

in so doing must depend upon prudent 


NEW YORK, MAY y± 1821 

management. — Certainly I do not mean to 

remain an idle spectator in society — that 

would be both irrational as well as selfish. 

Still I feel the justice of your reproaches & 

confess myself too indifferent of public favor 

& too diffident of my ability to merit it, were 

I so disposed. But I persuade myself that 

hitherto my concerns have been too precarious 

and unsettled to admit of higher pursuits. — 

I do not believe myself capable of doing great 

things, yet I ought not to be ashamed of 

lesser ones — and to leave this would be a mere 

hie jacet is too mortifying to be endured. — I 

wish you had executed your design. To your 

counsels I should listen with respect and 

attention, and if any motive could stimulate 

me to exertion, it would be at your suggestion 

and with your encouragement. — But I fear 

I will tire you by this talk about nothing, 

although you are the only person on whom I 

would care to bestow my egotism. — 

You keep excellent company in Paris — 

NEW YORK, MAY 7*^ 1821 

Anacreon Moore & M^ Canning; these are 
names that set ones blood in motion, and to 
associate with them on terms of literary 
equality is indeed a distinction of the highest 
value, and to which you are fully entitled. — 

I hardly know what to say to you of the 
affairs & persons of those that surround me. — 
Paulding & his family have just arrived — I am 
not yet acquainted with his designs, or 
whether he has any in hand. — He has been 
roughly & ungratefully requited by the public 
— I hope he will not again venture anything 
without the utmost circtmispection. 

There is a person (not of this City) who is 

about to publish a work somewhat in the 

manner of your S Book. — He is very highly 

spoken of by good judges. — Should his work 

be worthy of attention I will send it to you. — 

Verplanck is full of politics (& politics never 

ran lower among us, than they do now) — He 

was a useful member of Assembly & made 

several reports — He spoke seldom & not with 


NEW YORK, MAY yM? 1821 

any marked success. — Cambreling is elected 

our present member of Congress — He is 

intolerably vain of his honors, and had he 

lost them I verily believe he would have died 

of vexation. Walter Patterson is also elected 

a member. M" Cooper told me that she had 

written you a long Letter introducing a M' 

Somebody. — Cooper is at New Orleans. 

Kean, after being very unjustly and cruelly 

treated at Philad^ has gone to Baltimore, 

where he is playing with his usual success. 

— He is to remain here another season & will 

probably play at the opening of our New 

Theatre in Sept or Oct: next. — Price after a 

world of negociation with Beekman & Astor 

through the medium of our favourite Jack 

Nicolson, has taken a lease of it, at a net of 

13000^ per annimi. — The Theatre will be 

beautiful, but I fear it will never support such 

an enormous rent charge. — Price intends to 

go to England in the next Liverpool packet to 

beat up recruits. — I saw M"? Hoffman at a 


NEW YORK, MAY 7«? 1821 

Ball a few evenings since at Tom: Morns'. 
She made many kind inquiries after you. Her 
health is no better than usual. Hoffman is as 
greatly [engaged(?)]* in politics as ever. — The 
old Lady is very infirm and will not probably 
live out the summer. — M" Nicholas still con- 
tinues to reside at Phil: Rhinelanders, in 
defiance to much illnatured scandal. — She is 
actuated by no worse motive than caprice, 
I confidently beheve. — M- Lyman, the author 
of the most unlucky tome on Italy, is to be 
married tomorrow to Miss Henderson a Lady 
of high pretensions and fvill of most blest 
condition. — 

M'.' Bradish has taken M^ Le Roy's large 
House in Broad Way — Nicolson holds out in 
the Colony about 10 doors below. He means 
to write you a long Letter forthwith — Major 
Lee (by authentic reports) has squandered his 
wife's fortune, seduced her sister, & abscon- 
ded! — ^William Gracie will probably have 

* The Manuscript is torn here. 


NEW YORK, MAY 7*1} 1821 

reached you before this — To him I refer you 
for every sort of information. My Wife 
desires me to present her kindest regards. 
My sons are two brave fellows. — We intend to 
remove to N? 15 Broad Way in a week. — 
Believe me my d- I 

Most affect y? 

H. B. y. 

Your picture by Newton will be exhibited 
next week in the annual exhibition of the 
Academy of fine Arts, — 

The Delafields are very well — He has had 
the misfortune to lose his youngest child 
lately. — 


NEW YORK, JUNE i5«? 1821 

New York, June 15- 182 1. 


I have rec^ your Letters dated the 5, 14 & 
21 April. The two dfts for ?iooo each, have 
been accepted; and should your brother E be 
unable to make up the remittance of ^1000 
to Mr Beasley, I have promised to assist 
him with the residue, but it is probable he 
will not stand in need of help. — I am happy 
to understand that by this arrangement 
your mind will be disengaged from pecu- 
niary matters and exclusively devoted to 
literature. — 

The explanation you have given of your 
future ability to discharge these advances, is 
perfectly satisfactory; I can, without incon- 
venience, wait until your means will enable 
you to do so at your leisiu-e. Meanwhile, it 
affords me real pleasure to be of use to you, 
and I beg you will not burthen your mind 
with any weight of obligation. 

I presume from what formerly passed 


between us in regard to the Steam B enter- 
prize that J T* will comply with your brother's 
wishes. The statement you have sent of the 
prospect of success, exhibit[s] the project 
in a favourable point of view, & I sincerely 
hope it may not be marred by further doubts 
and delays. 

We are now near neighbors of your brother 
William. His health throughout the winter 
has been infirm, and his spirits sadly depressed 
& broken. He is now greatly relieved and 
seems inclined to resume cheerful habits. 
Ebenezer is a real philosopher; with ten times 
the motive for despondence, he never suffers 
his mind & spirits to waste in hopeless repin- 
ings. J T keeps his course straight onward. 
No man in the community enjoys, & indeed 
no man merits a larger share of public & 
private confidence. — :His income must now 
be large, but the practice of the law seems to 
have increased his distrust of prosperity. — 

* Judge John Treat Irving, Washington's brother. 

NEW YORK, JUNE 15th 1821 

George Enninger has not yet arrived — I 
shall be glad to see him — ^he is a young man of 
the kindest temper & disposition. — 

Kean has left us in a huff. His repentance 
seemed to augment at every step of his de- 
parture. At Sandy Hook he even promised 
to return. — His preposterous vanity led him 
into an error that has been punished by our 
editors as a crime. I am really sorry for 
Kean — In my intercourse with him, he always 
conducted himself in the most gentlemanlike 
& engaging manner — Had he remained here 
another season, he might have added 300o£ 
to the 4000 £ stg. that he carried with him. 

Jack Nicolson is greatly distressed — ^he 
stuck to Kean to the last like a man. — 

The New Sketch Book N? i has appeared 
with the title of "The Idle Man." It is 
printed very elegantly & has some merit, 
but not enough to encourage the author's 

Your old acquaintance Hetty Gracie is to 

VOL. II. — 10. X4S 

NEW YORK, JUNE 15^ 1821 

sail for Liverpool to-day. She is accompanied 
by her husband M^ Beach Laurence. — 

I look with anxiety for your new work. — In 
the mean while no hint of it shall be given out. 
— I must postpone until another opportunity 
many small matters that I have to communi- 
cate — as the Ship by which this goes is on 
the point of departure. 

My Wife & children are very well — 

ever affect^ Y? 
H. Brevoort, y. 



New York, October ^ 1821. 


It is a long while since I have rec"? a Letter 
from you — ^the 15 May was the last. — Mr. 
Ehninger* has given me a good many particu- 
lars of your domestic history — ^but he seems to 
know little of the inner man. He is a kind 
hearted soul, with a head full of crudities, 
which travel has not much corrected. 

I lately spent a few days at Ancram with 
Walter Patterson-^his brother W? was with 
us, and gratified me with much intelligence of 
your brother Peter, as well as yourself. What 
a pragmatical old Monsieur he has become ! — 

By the last accounts from M" V Wart, 
you were in London previous to the Corona- 
tion, which I hope you witnessed as well as 
our illustrious countryman Ezra Weeks, Esq- 
His adventures in high life are the amusement 
of Gotham. 

I am anxious to learn whether you are in 

* Elsewhere spelled Enninger — 


the. hands of Murray. Ehninger thinks you 
have written something about the Trouba- 
dours — ^further he knoweth not. They would 
furnish rich materials for , a Chivalric 
Romance, but I would rather you had under- 
taken a work of fiction with American mate- 
rials, drawn from any period of our national 
existence. — ^^I am satisfied that you are able 
to write such a work, difficult as it may first 
appear to you. 

By the by, you ought ■ to send Ebenezer 
another number of the S Book to complete 
the work — ^that it may be bound in two 
volumes. — 

I understand Knickerbocker either has, or 
is to appear with illustrations. If you coiild 
obtain the plates for a new edition here, it 
would be worth your attention. — 

Your Brothers have no doubt informed you 

of the hopeless state of W'l' Irving's health. 

I wish it was in my power to encourage you 

with hopes of his amendment. — 


NEW YORK, OCTOBER 9*!? 1821 

Your f? Miss Ann Delafield (she that you 
knew in London) was thrown from a wagon a 
few days since, and survived only eight hours. 
One of the younger brothers was driving her 
to M- Prince's cottage at Hellgate (which 
John Delafield had taken as a summer resi- 
dence) The horse took fright in the lane 
leading to the cottage, ran off, and threw her 
with violence against a stone which fractured 
her head. — 

One of her younger sisters lies in the last 
stage of consumption & her father has for a 
long while been tottering on the brink of the 
grave. — Poor D has been oppressed by afflic- 
tion ever since his arrival. — 

In the absence of Ebenezer I purchased 
with funds furnished by him, Le Roy Bayard 
& C^ Bill in Paris for $1000 and remitted it 
some time ago to M^ Beasley. — Paulding & 
his Wife have just returned from the High- 
lands, having passed the summer with G 

Kemble — Ann Nicholas returned about two 



months since from a residence of two years at 
the house of Phil: Rhinelander — Charles is 
well estabHshed at Richmond, as Cashier of 
the U S Branch Bank — ^he has written for Ann 
who seems in no haste to join him. — Renwick 
Sc his wife are to take immediate possession 
of a suite of apartments in the College. He 
gets on bravely as a professor. — 

We are to take our departure for Charleston 
(for the last time, positively) on the 21'* ins* 
in the Steam Ship. I believe I shall return to 
N Y in the course of the winter. — My Wife 
& sons will remain with M" Carson until 
May. — 

Mr. Jn° Bristed goes in this Packet for 

England. He finds it impossible to bear the 

matrimonial yoke any longer with that Lamb 

of Bellzebub, my well beloved Couzen the 

late M" Bentzon. — He is literally wasted to 

the bone by the severity of her discipline. 

Their fracas have furnished the Town with 

scandal these six months. She is certainly a 


NEW YORK, OCTOBER 9*!? 1821 

maniac. — Nicolson begs you to answer his 
Letter. He has just recovered from a des- 
perate love affair, being the twentieth or 
thereabouts. — My Wife — & my children — ^my 
Father & Mother are all well & happy. — 
ever affectionately Yr^ 



New York, January i- 1827. 


The paragraph in your letter to Ebenezer 

relating to me, has given me more pain than 

I am willing to express; not, as you will 

presently perceive, that I am in the least 

degree amenable to your reproaches, or have 

ever given you cause to utter them in terms so 

harsh, and I must say, unfriendly. How it has 

happened, that you have received none of my 

letters, I am unable tO' explain. The last 

letter that I rec^ of yours, was dated the 

29 May 1825, introducing to me Mr. S* 

Aubyn & M' Hallam. I had previously 

written to you several times, but at present 

I am unable to specify dates. My last letter 

was dated the 14 Nov: 1825 — directed to the 

care of Wells & C°, Paris. — It was a letter of 

two sheets, written with that perfect openess 

of heart & kindness of feeling, which never 

for a moment has ceased to characterize my 

sentiments towards you. — BeHeving that it 



must have reached you, I was puzzled to 
account for your silence, and have again & 
again asked your brother whether in your 
letters to him, you had not alluded to it and 
to myself. — I was however willing to impute 
the delay to your wanderings, and to the 
exclusive nature of your Kterary pursuits — 
never did I permit any tmkind construction of 
your seeming neglect to cross my mind. Nor 
was it possible that any neglect of the kind 
could weaken the deep foundation of my 
attachment to you — an attachment which as 
I hope for mercy, I have never felt towards 
any other man. — ^Judge then how sensibly I 
was hurt by your choosing to put the existence 
& the continuance of my friendship to a final 
issue. — ^Whoever it was that informed you, 
that my mind was absorbed & debased by 
money-making pursuits, was guilty of utter- 
ing a base falsehood. The repetition of so 
gross an aspersion, although disbelieved by 
vou, appears irreconcilable to my conception 



of the disinterested fdship that has invariably- 
existed between us; and I am persuaded that 
it must have slipt from your pen in a moment 
of irritation. — I certainly do not hold myself 
answerable to the misjudgments of those who 
are merely spectators of my motives & my 
actions, and the very retired manner in which 
I pass my life sets me aloof (thank God) from 
the impertinence of a closer observation of 
them. — Money getting, which may be called 
the besetting sin of this community has never 
absorbed my attention; but in avoiding the 
infection I have sometimes thought myself 
an unwise exception, judging from the keen 
excitement which its pursuit seems to impart 
to its votaries. — 

Indeed, excepting the settlement of old 
transactions & the affairs of others, I have had 
scarcely any thing to do with traffic for some 
years. — But the infamous manner in which so 
many of our monied institutions have been 

plundered within the last twelvemonth, has 



made me feel much less secure of independence 
than I could have wished — and the efforts that 
I have been obliged to make to escape with 
the least possible loss, have furnished my mind 
with an abundance of disgusting toil & dis- 

Those dull details of myself are drawn from 
you by your own severity; yet I trust I have 
said nothing more than was strictly necessary 
to my own defence ; but if I have said aught to 
offend your feelings, I hope you will overlook 
it & remember that this is the only instance 
of discord that has ever arisen between us. — 
Let us then my dear Irving begin the new 
year by a renewal of kind and affectionate 
recollections & by frank and frequent inter- 
change of our sentiments. — 

I have been living for the last two months 

with my Sister at the CoUege & shall probably 

continue with her until the Spring. — My 

Wife with the three youngest children (girls) 

is gone to Charleston to pass the winter with 



her mother to whom she had made a promise 
which could not be got rid of. The two boys 
are at a french boarding school — (Mess" 
Peugnet). — The disagreeable occupation to 
which I have alluded above, has compelled 
me to remain in New York & to make so great 
a sacrafice of my domestic enjoyments. — ■ 
Your brother has always communicated to 
me your various movements & occupations & 
I am glad to learn from him that you are 
heartily engaged in writing the life of Colum- 
bus — ^it is a subject of great dignity as well as 
interest — an American one, too, and in every 
point of view befitting the imployment of your 
mind. — M^ Gait, who passed some time in 
New York lately, requested me to say to you 
that he possesses the only original portrait 
of Columbus known to be in existence — and 
that if you chose to have it ingraved for your 
work, he had given instructions to his wife 
in London to place it at your disposal by 

means of Murray or in any other way that 



you might see fit. — Renwick & his family 
are very happily situated here — he is busily 
employed in writing an introductory discourse 
to the Athenaeum lectures^ — Reviews for the 
London Scientific journal; to which he has 
contributed several able papers — and Reviews 
for Walsh's New Review, which is to amaze the 
world on the i March next. — I do not know 
what Paulding is doing — ^he seldom mixes 
with his friends — & lives a life of complete 
seclusion. His Brother has just been re- 
instated to the honors of the Mayoralty, to 
the great discomforture of poor Hone, who 
during his reign of a year did every thing both 
officially & individually to entitle himself to 
a reelection. — But his opponents, upon politi- 
cal grounds, as they alledge, thrust him oiit 
of the office with the most indecent haste and 
animosity. I think he had no good reason to 
expect a reelection, but the manner in which 
he was dismissed, was a gratuitous insult to 

the pride of a very worthy and honorable man. 



But "sic transit &c." I am very sorry for his 
mortification. — Nicolson is still cmising in his 
stout little man of war — the Ontario in the 
Mediterranean — ^he writes me, that he is to 
return next spring or summer. He is intimate 
with heroes, both Grecian & Barbarian — ■ 
(Mavrocordato & the Capulan Pasha — ) the 
latter Jack thinks bears a striking resemblance 
in hight & rotundity etc &c to himself, except 
his being rather bow-legged and much addicted 
to the sea sickness. — The worthy little Capt is 
deep in classical lore — ^he has anchored his 
ship in the Piraeus — approached the Acropolis, 
mounted upon a Donkey — dug up the graves 
of sundry Atheneans at Milo & sent me some 
beautiful relics of antient Terra Cotta &c, 
&c. He has moreover fathered some Greek 
orphans & saved the lives of others. — But 
above all — ^he has kept his ship in the most 
perfect condition & lived in the utmost har- 
mony with his officers. — 

Bradish is passing the Winter among us & 


deals out his stores of knowledge with becom- 
ing modesty & high breeding. — He is the glass 
of fashion & pink of fastidiousness. — ^A matri- 
monial connexion "prudently conducted" I 
have no doubt would complete his happiness. 
— By the by — speaking of matrimony — I 
cannot help alluding to that scurvy jest my 
old & Blackwood played upon you. — M' 
Clay was here about the time the rumour 
reached us — ^he made many kind inquiries 
after you & laughed in a most unstatesmanlike 
manner at the villany of old Ebony. — Ren- 
wick, who is a huge consumer of Parmesan 
Cheese — ^was on the point of bespeaking your 
bounty in that choice viand. I tried to hoax 
my wife by pretending that I had rec"^ a 
letter from you announcing your nuptials — 
deifying the lovely Empress — and asking 
us to pass the winter at your Court. — She 
declared positively that the E — ^was tmworthy 
of you & that she would forbid the banns. — 

Young Cutting who (I believe) you & your 



Brother met at Bordeaux is engaged to be 
married to Miss Hejrward — a daughter of the 
old H who married Miss Cruger. — She is a 
great favourite of mine & of every one indeed 
who is acquainted with her. — He seems every 
way worthy of such good fortune & I hope he 
will not be disappointed. 

G K* is going on very prosperously with 
his foundry — ^he talks as usual of setting down 
soberly in Hfe & begetting his own images — 
but he is an incorrigible bachelor. Ver 
Planck is you know in Congress; he has not 
yet done any thing to distinguish himself 
from the multitudes of aye & no gentlemen — 
but he is highly though (t) of by the house. — 
Mr. Spy Cooper is now in Paris — shaving 
xec^. the barren appointment of Consul at 
Lyons — ^part of his new novel "The Prairie" is 
here & in the press. — I hope you will see him — 
he has a rough & confident manner of express- 
ing himself, but you will find him a right good 

* Gouverneur Kemhle, 



fellow at bottom. — ^He was accustomed to 
amuse us at "The Lunch '\with disputations 
on the french language. — The person who 
instructed him made him very h3^ercritical 
in the niceties of pronouns & particles to the 
great amusement of Ch^ King & others who 
are masters of the language. — I should like 
to know whether he thinks the Parisians do in 
point of fact speak french correctly. — 

Old M- Lord, whose daughter he married 
some months since — ^lately died & left her 
40 or 50,000^ — ^which could not have fallen 
into better hands. — King is still the editor of 
the Am: having dissolved copart? with 

Johnston Ver P * his talents are not 

happily displayed in his vocation. — ^John 
King has gone to Washington — ^we talk of 
giving him a complimentary dinner in a 
private way on his return. — ^Amongst the 
changes that are ever taking place in this 
variable community, I think you must have 

* Veiplanck. 

VOL. II. — II. 161 


deplored the downfall of the old firm of Le Roy- 
Bayard & C° — TJaeir misfortunes have been 
long impending — everyone seems to rejoice 
that the worthy old gentleman left the world 
and its miseries before the failure of the House. 

— ^William B ^will be left pennyless — 

Robert's wife's fortune is partly settled upon 
herself & her children, — They owe very large 
Slims in Europe — ^here, their obligations are 
not so great. — Old Major Fairlie awoke from 
a long fit of dotage or misanthropy some six 
or seven months ago to the great relief of 
family & his fds. — It was brought about by 
an a,rtifice of his fds who prevailed with the 
Chief Justice to write him a Letter, intimating 
the necessity that existed of appointing a 
successor to his office of Clerk to the Sup- 
Court. — This exasperated the old gentleman's 
energies, to such a degree, that he immed^ 
sallied forth from his apartment to the City 
Hall & he has continued to do so ever since — 

renovated in spirits & full of pithy sayings. — 



Charley Miller a noted usurer lost a large 
sum which he had invested in Bonds of the 
Life & Fire Ins. Company; after wear[y]ing 
Hone & other Dignitaries to stretch forth the 
arm of power against the swindling directors 
— ^in vain — ^he unbosomed his griefs to the 
Major. The old Gent told him to go home & 
seek for consolation by reading the scriptures 
— ^referring him particularly to that passage 
in which Paul says "I w^ to God that not 
only thou, but all that hear me this day, were 
both almost & altogether such as I am, except 
these bonds." — ^When he heard of the death 
of Jefferson & Adams & that M' Carroll 
was now the only surviving signer of the 
declaration of Ind: he observed — Well! the old 
boy is left in a fearful minority. . . . These 
are from among dozens of his witticisms — 
M" C* still resides at Bristol but visits us 
occasionally — she is very little changed in 
personal appearance — although she has (I 

* Mrs. Thomas A. Cooper — Irving' s friend, Mary Fairlie. 


believe) eight children — the eldest Mary, 
nearly a woman grown. — Miss Louisa, who 
has all the cleverness of her father, seems to be 
too keen for the sensibilities of her beaux. — 

My good old parents are still in the enjoy- 
ment of health & contentment. My father 
comes to the City (as he calls it) once in four 
years to go the rounds with me, and wonder 
at the novelties of the age. — 

I beg my kindest regards to your Brother 
Peter — I hope he remembers our adventures 
in the great world with as much pleasure as I 
do; they have furnished me with agreeable 
reminiscences ever since. — I w"? request you 
to present my regards to M- Everett, but that 
it is more than probable that he has forgotten 
me. — 

I am My d- I, ever affecV Y? 

H. B. 



New, York, Nov. ig^ 1827. 


Your kind & affectionate letter of the 4 
April reached me about six weeks ago, and I 
need not assure you that it has removed from 
my mind every cause of complaint & I beg 
that the warmth with which I expressed 
myself on the subject may be forgotten. — 

Your life &c of Columbus has been put to 
press — ^judging from the first sheet which your 
brother shewed me yesterday, ' you will no 
doubt be pleased with the manner in which it 
will be printed. 

The edit: will comprise about 2000 Copies. 

— ^As to offering any conjectures or auguries 

of the reception which it is like to receive 



from the public — they would be idle at present. 
Many persons of the highest literary standing 
among us (Halleck Bryant & others) have 
expressed their satisfaction upon hearing that 
you were engaged on a subject which they 
think properly belongs to us — so that you 
have every reason to expect a candid & friendly 
reception. Indeed I must say that no author 
enjoys a higher place in the esteem of the 
public than yourself. Depend upon it my dear 
Irving, whatever you may have been induced 
to believe'to the contrary, that you have every 
reason to be satisfied with the kindly feelings 
of your countrymen, so far as I am enabled 
to judge. — I fear that in composing this work 
you have subjected yourself to excessive 
labour & fatigue, but as you do not complain 
of ill health I trust your mind has been 
relieved by the novelty of your researches. 
I long to see you return to works of imagina- 
tion. But the exploits of these daring dis- 
coveries of new worlds really to my mind 



possess the truth of history with the wildest 
charms of romance. Colimibus stands at the 
head of them — ^both as to boldness of exploit 
& real dignity & nobleness of mind & character. 
— I hope you will be cheered by every sort 
of success both here and in Europe. — 

Our old friends are all well — Kemble is 
going on yery prosperously — Harry Ogden is 
now in New York — a prosperous and lusty 
looking gentleman. Paulding I regret to say 
(about two months since) lost one of his 
children — ^it died at the Foundry after a few 
days illness. — My own family — ^wife & 5 
children are all in good health, after having 
past the summer very quietly at the old 
cottage at Hemshook — Hellgate. I have 
fished in every nook & comer of that old un- 
grateful ground until my skin was as sunburnt 
as old Mud Sam. — My father & mother are 
yet in the full enjoyment of health & spirits. 
The old gentleman has just passed his 8o*> 

year — ^with no other annoyance to his happi- 



ness, but the encroachment of the City upon 
his domains. — The Professor* & his family are 
very well & agreeably situated in the College. 

You mentioned in your letter Halleck & 
Bryant — they are both members of "The 
Lunch" a social club which has been in exist- 
ence here for several years.-7-When you come 
to us, I know you will have great enjoyment 
in their society & in that of the Lunch. They 
are shy men & are very little seen in society. 
Halleck is Secretary of an Ins: Comp^ — 
Bryant lives by his pen. They are un- 
doubtedly men of very high endowments. 
Halleck regretted that he did not meet you 
some years since^ — I gave him a letter to you, 
but I believe you were in Germany. — 

On Thursday last M- Emmett was seized 
with apoplexy in the Court & expired in ten 
hours. I was sitting as a juror very near to 
him & I never witnessed a scene of more 
heartrending distress. He could not be re- 

* James Renwick. 



moved for several hours, during which his 

father came in & suffered beyond description. 

He never felt a moments pain. — Pray give 

my affectionate regards to my excellent 

friend your brother Peter. 

I hope his health is quite restored. — 
Nicolson is still at his station — I believe he 

will be ordered back very soon. — Believe me 

my dear Irving ever 

affec? Y! 

H. B. y. 


New York, December ip- 1827. 


I wrote to you some time since, to the care 
of B Henry Gibraltar, but I doubt whether 
my letter has reached you. — Your life of 
Columbus is going through the press & will be 
ready for publication by the middle of March, 
or sooner if practicable. At first your brother 
determined to follow your directions & publish 
it in two Vol^ but the thickness of the paper 
& the quantity of the matter would make 
them too btdky, and he now thinks of extend- 
ing it to three Vol^ of about 450 pages each. 
In this form it will be more acceptable to the 
booksellers — ^nor will it be necessary to dis- 
join the Books & Chapters. — The Map which 
you sent will be neatly lithographed & re- 
duced to about half the size. — 

The very liberal manner in which Murray 

has dealt with you, has been made public 

through the Boston Newspapers and will we 

think induce Cary to make proposals for the 



edition. — I have advised your brother to let 
him have it at a liberal discount say 35 or 40 
per Cent, which would still leave a clear gain 
of about ^3000. 

Cary's influence as a publisher is so poten- 
tial, that it is desirable he should have the 
disposal of the work. — Like Murray he has 
become the proprietor of a quarterly Review— 
["] The Am: q^ Review," which has been in 
existence for a year & has a very wide circula- 
tion. — Master Walsh is the Editor. Thus far 
he has been aided by some of our best writers 
& the review is pretty well kept up — He pays 
two dollars the page. — 

Renwick has furnished an article for each 
of the numbers — one on ChampoUon — one on 
Shipbuilding — one on Egyptian Chronology 
& a short notice of Weights & Measures. — 

He has another ready for the forthcoming 

March number, & proposes to prepare a 

review of your Work provided Walsh has room 

for it — ^this he will ascertain in a few days. 



Should there be room left, the review will 
appear a short time before the Work itself, 
but a similar anachronism occurred in two 
articles on Scott's Napoleon which preceded 
the publication of the Work nearly six months, 
— Sir Walter's Book was greatly aided by the 
review & many thousand copies have been 

It will also be desirable to supplant Master 
Walsh in laying his unhallowed hands upon 
your Work; he is too vindictive to be trusted 
with the power of sitting in judgment upon 
you. — 

I know that you disclaim all critical sup- 
port but be assured that here, as in England, 
the public taste is very much influenced 
& governed by reviewers. Possibly I judge 
Walsh, too harshly, but he has shewn in 
his last number how ungenerously he can 
avenge an old editorial grudge by a bitter 
condemnation of Carter's travels. Should 

his forth-coming number be already pre- 



occupied you will have to stand over for 
the next. — 

I was very much surprised to learn from 
your nephew that some caitiff had taken the 
trouble to annoy you by sending a collection 
of scraps of censure which have appeared in 
the news papers. Rely upon it, they were 
beneath your notice — I take upon myself to 
afHrm that your character & ptirsuits are held 
by your countrymen in the most endearing 
estimation, and whenever I shall have the 
happiness of again welcoming you home, you 
will find my opinion confirmed to your hearts 
content. — 

All our old friends are well — Paulding 

Kemble Ogden &c &c. — My wife & children 

are all as I could wish them. — My boys are 

growing up apace & promise fairly. — Our 

mode of life is quiet & domestic & the events 

of a day are succeeded by scarcely any novelty. 

I have been sadly perplexed for nearly three 

years past by an accidental involvement to 



nearly the whole extent of my means — ^but by 
dint of exertion I think I shall escape without 
a heavy loss. First, I was misled into the 
purchase of a great nximber of lots on Stuy- 
vesants meadows by a joint purchase under a 
belief that I was bound for only an eight[h] 
part of them — ^but owing to the insolvency 
of my copartners — nearly the whole purchase 
was left upon my hands, with the prospect of 
330,000 loss — ^but the lots are beginning to 
acquire a value & I hope to get rid of the 
burthen without a great loss. — Next, I was 
caught with 40,000^ stock in the Bank of 
Montreal, thinking that the money could not 
be better placed. I had suffered it to remain 
for twelve years. Owing however to the 
failure of half a dozen of the old Scotch houses 
& the misconduct of the President (M- 
Gerrard) in whom my confidence was un- 
limited, the affairs of the Bank became deeply 
involved and have remained so for nearly 

three years. — At present I have the prospect 



of escaping with a loss of 20,000^. — The 
experience that I have gained is rather dearly 
bought, but I am content & shall endeavour 
to profit by it for the future. — 

My father & mother are still in the enjoy- 
ment of health & contentment. The sole 
annoyance of the good old patriarch is the 
inroads of the Corporation who will persist in 
raising the value of his land by cutting it up 
into streets, & burthening him by assessments. 
The old Gentleman rebels & talks of the purity 
of the olden time, but is obliged to submit. — 

D Lynch returned from Europe lately. 
His affairs are in disorder owing to an im- 
prudent speculation in Brandy — ^but he hopes 
to retrieve them by a contract which he has 
made for 10 years of aU the wine produced by 
the estate of Chateau Margaux. He has been 
figuring at the Court of the Lady Lieutenant 
in Dublin & sings us songs composed for him 
by Moore, all gaily as ever. — Luther Bradish 

has been elected to the Legislature by the 



County of Franklin, being a large landed 
proprietor in that quarter — ^he seems highly- 
pleased with his honors & I doubt not will do 
the State some service. 

Paulding had the misfortune of losing one 
of his children last stammer — ^he & Gertrude 
have been in deep distress by this sudden 
event. — ^He continues to live along in a quiet 
way, mixing seldom with society & occa- 
sionally producing a work of merit. He is a 
contributor to Walsh. — Kemble sticks close 
to his Fotmdry, which has now become a very 
extensive & profitable concern. 

Renwick as you justly observe is making 
himself known by the depth & variety of his 
acquirements. He is a very able civil engineer, 
& is often employed in that line. — He writes 
for Brand's journal & is in close correspond- 
ence with Capt Sabine & other men of 
eminent scientific standing. — He has four 
children; three boys & a girl & lives very 

independently in the College. — His Mother is 



just the same as you left her; the troubles of 
the world (of which she has had too large a 
share) have made little impression upon her. — 
Jane is married to a son of John Wilkes (a 
Lieu* in the Navy) — ^Agnes is engaged to be 
married to the Rev^ M''. Henry, a son of 
M' Henry the lawyer in Albany — ^John is 
married & Hves on a farm — Bobie has just 
returned from the Western Country — to re- 
side in N Y. — W^ is a bachelor. 

VerPlanck is a great Jackson man & sticks 
closely to his congressional duties — ^but he 
does not make a figure there. Yoxur old f1 
Randolph tritunphs in the success of the 
Jackson cause. — He predicted last year that 
John the 2^ was only serving out the term of 
John the first, which is like to be prophetic. 
A few days ago, after escorting the new 
Speaker to the Chair he seized an Adams man 
by the arm & pointing to the Speaker, asked 
whether he did not perceive the handwriting 
upon the wall. — His health is exhausted. — 

VOL. II. 12. 



Little Cambreling is also a great man. Sam 
Swartwout is in hopes of becoming a great 
man — Shaving been one of Jackson's sturdiest 
supporters. — Charles King has laboured hard 
for the Adams cause & has reaped no reward. — 

The pugnacious character of our citizens 
still continues. Lately a M- Barton of Phil: 
killed a M- Graham at Hoboken in a duel, 
provoked by the latter — Graham was assist- 
ant editor to Noah & had made himself very 
obnoxious by his satire upon what Charles 
King foolishly called "good society. " He was 
a man of great talents and had passed a life 
of adventure in England & mixed with all 
classes of society. — Since then D- Hosack 
sent Cad Colden with a challenge to D- 
Watts — ^which produced an apology. Yester- 
day — a challenge was sent by M- Henry 
Eckford to Maxwell (the Dis^ Att?) the 
cause of which grew out of the late indict- 
ments for conspiracy — Maxwell very properly 

handed the challenge to the Police. Whether 



the Shipbuilder intended to use the Broadaxe 
or the pistol I know not. — He is rather a 
naauvaise* sujet. — Our City is besett with 
Theatres — ^all of which seem to get on success- 

The Ladies of ton give soir6es every Tues- 
day & send their cards to their fds of fashion. — 

My wife enjoins me to offer her kindest 
regards. — Pray give my affec* remembrances 
to y^ brother Peter — 

I am My d- Irving 
ever Y? 
H. Brevoort, J' 

Jack Nicolson is to return to the U States 
in the course of the Winter. 



NEW YORK, MAY 311* 1828 

New York, May 31- 1828. 


I have received your letter dated Madrid 
22>^^ february & have delayed answering it 
until I could speak confidently of the reception 
of your life of Columbus. — I can now assure 
you of its complete success. — The opinions 
of Chancellor Kent P A Jay W Johnston 
Prof: Moore Halleck & many others of the 
same class of readers place it in the first rank 
of historical compositions — They are struck 
with the dignity of your style — the depth of 
your researches — your clear & unbroken narra- 
tive of events & above all with the romantic 
interest which you have infused into every 
portion of the work. — All seemed gratified 
that the discoverer of the new world should 
have found a biographer, worthy of his fame, 
in one of its sons, & it is certain that you could 
not have employed your time & talents 
upon a happier subject, or on one of more 

dignified interest to readers in this quarter 


NEW YORK, MAY 311* 1828 

of the globe. I do hope that this universal 

concurrence of opinion as to the value of your 

labours amongst us, will at once banish from 

your mind every feeling of distrust as to the 

kindness & cordiality of your countrymen; 

depend upon it my d' Irving that they are 

proud of your name and speak nobly of you. — 

If peradventure you should ever chance to see 

that notable criticism which preceded your 

work in Walsh's Review, it may account to 

you for the eagerness with which y^ work is 

read; it being the united wisdom of three 

great writers — ^the introduction by y^ htimble 

servant — ^the criticism by Renwick & the 

extracts by Walsh. — 

I understand from the Carvils that more 

than 2/2,^? of the edition is sold ; they are highly 

pleased with being the publishers & are very 

anxious to get possession of any future work 

from your pen. — ^Your brother, as he no doubt 

has informed you, has concluded with Gary 

a sale of all the copies of your former works, 


NEW YORK, MAY 31L* 1828 

at about the cost of printing — he has moreover 

sold to them the priveledge of printing & 

publishing them under certain conditions for 

the next seven years, for the annual payment 

of ^600. — This arrangement I feel satisfied 

will please you — ^first you will be a gainer in 

money — second your writings, in their hands 

& under their management will be pushed 

into a much wider circulation amongst a new 

class of readers to whom they have hitherto 

been nearly inaccessible. It is thus that 

Cooper's Works have been made productive; 

had they been published in the shape that 

yours have been, they would neither have 

brought him bread nor reputation. — Besides 

your brother will be relieved from a great deal 

of labour & care. — 

I take it for granted that you will have 

returned to France by the time this will 

arrive. We have accounts of the return of y? 

brother & that his health was mending. — I 

have little to tell you of my own affairs — • 


NEW YORK, MAY 31!* 1828 

about a week since M" B brought into 

the world a daughter & I am happy to say is 

quite well. You see my dear fellow that my 

works are nearly as numerous as yours; 

whether they will live as long & be as kindly 

treated by the world is rather questionable. — 

One thing is certain, that I am determined 

this shall be the last. — 

Paulding has a Work in the press, but I know 

not what the subject is. — His son Kemble & 

one of mine are great cronies & are in the same 

latin class — ^he is a very fine little fellow & bids 

fair to be as quaint & odd as his father. Gouv. 

Kemble is very rich — Capt Jack returned 

some time since from his five years cruise — ^he 

is as usual high in favour with the Ladies & 

has the entr6 to every family of distinction in 

the town of Gotham. — I cannot perceive that 

he is in the least changed — except that he 

talks rather ad libitum of the fine arts, genuine 

taste, &c, &c. — The Renwicks are as usual. 

My father & mother continue in the land of the 


NEW YORK, MAY 31!? 1828 

living. The old Gent"? has lately become 
much renowned — shaving cured the Earl of 
Huntingdon of dropsey by the use of a root 
called Indian Hemp (apocinum cannabinum). 
He would in the opinion of Hosack have died 
in twelve hours, had it not been for the hemp, 
which by the merest accident I happened to 
think of. It effected the same miracle on the 
old gentleman & a child of Renwick's, who 
was at the point of death of dropsey in the 
head. The poor Earl is very grateful — & sails 
for England today. — 

Pray give my kindest regards to your brother 
& believe me my d- Irving ever Y? 

H. Brevoort, y. 


NEW YORK, MARCH 30th 1829 

New York, March 30- 182Q. 


Belieying that you will have returned 
from your long sojourn in Spain by the time 
this letter will reach France, I shall enclose 
it to your brother — I have received your 
letter dated the 24 December — The pirate 
had struck his flag, before the arrival of your 
Abridgement, and nothing delays its publica- 
tion, but the time given by your brother to the 
Carvils, being unexpired — I mean the time 
given for the sale of the edition of the Life. 
Very few copies remain to be sold. I do not 
doubt that the Abridgement will have a very 
wide circulation; it will be an excellent school 
book. The Chronicle is waiting until news 
arrive of its being published in London. 
Cary has put forth a neat edition of your 
Works, which will bring them before a class 
of readers to whom they were, in a manner, a 
sealed book. — I do admire your perseverance 

& industry in digging up ore from those mines 


NEW' YORK, MARCH 30"! 1829 

of the Indias, to which you are so fortunate 
as to have access. You seem to my imagina- 
tion like another Belzoni, working among the 
tomes — not tombs — in the cathedral library 
at Seville. 

It is delightful to think of the enduring 
name that you have already acquired & the 
rapid advances which you are making, at the 
same time, towards independence. — 

The enquiries you make about all our old 

friends, now fast approaching the yellow leaf, 

conveys an intimation, that you will return 

amongst them — Come when you will, you 

will find them true to you and ready to unite 

with you in renewing scenes of youthful 

enjoyment. — ^As to myself, I do believe, I 

might pass myself off abroad, for a fresh 

bachellor of 35 — but the malice of my seniors 

delights in throwing some dozen years more 

over my head, in order to avenge themselves 

for the dilapidations of time — But the 

youngest of us, is, & ever will be, the Super- 


NEW YORK, MARCH 36* 1829 

caxgo — ^he will be a boy at fourscore — He 

has lately been showing off under various 

disguises at the nvunerous masquerades which 

now infest this crack brained City. — Captain 

Jack has dissolved his bachellor's concern 

with William Bayard & come down to the 

lower part of the City — His days are passed in 

devotion to the ladies — ^he is in the bowels 

of every ones confidence — eating the good 

dinners & caprioling with the daughter of a 

score of wealthy burgomasters — falling in & 

out of love without wounding his amour 

propre, or lessening his rotundity a single inch. 

The latter evil is encreased, goes on encreas- 

ing, & ought to be diminished — and I verily 

believe Jack's happiness would be complete, 

if the gods would lessen his girth & reduce 

him. within the limits of sentimentality. — But 

there are better men than Jack, whose 

troubles have been seated in the belly. — As 

to Paulding, he continues to lead a sort 

of Terrapin's life — sometimes when the sun 


NEW YORK, MARCH 30«1 1829 

shines, he puts forth his head & walks up 
Broad Way but there is no use in striving to 
bring him into habits of social intercourse — 
they seem to have become irksome to him. 
Although we live within two hundred yards 
of each other, we might just as well be sepa- 
rated by so many leagues. — He writes Books, 
but they are the products of a mind at war 
with every thing — a mind too, that seems to 
have stood still, whilst all the world has been 
advancing in knowledge. So much so, as to 
have fairly outgrown him & the things that 
dwell in him. — Gouv: Kemble passes most of 
his time in the Highlands, occupied in his 
extensive manufacturing concerns. — He is the 
same good fellow that nature made him. 
William is the grand financier of those estab- 
lishments, & bids fair to die as rich as old 
Astor — He seems to have been made of 
different material from the other members 
of the family, & I cannot say that I admire 

him or his talent. — The Professor is well & 


NEW YORK, MARCH aoili 1829 

often talks of you — so does his excellent 
mother — She looks nearly as well as when you 
left us — & her spirits are as good & her heart 
just as warm as ever. — 

Master Sam: Swartwout, has just emerged 
from years of embarrassment & is to be made 
Collector in place of Thompson — Harry Og- 
den is to be his Cashier with a good salary, 
upon certain conditions. — I understand James 
• A Hamilton, is to have the place of Consul in 
Paris. — The new Pres:* seems determined to 
provide for those who have bawled loudest in 
his praises — ; 

God Bless you my d- f^ 


* Andrew Jackson. 


NEW YORK, APRIL 30th 1829 

New York, April 30- 182Q. 


I wrote to you not long ago, under cover to 
your brother Peter. — Since then your brother 
Ebenezer has sold to the Mess" Carvill, 
for ^6000 payable at reasonable periods, the 
right of publishing for five years, your Life of 
Columbus, as well as the Abridgement. The 
latter will soon appear in a neat octavo 
stereotyped, & the former, they are prepared 
to put to press so soon as a corrected copy is 
received from you. — ^A very small ntmiber of 
the copies of the first edition remain tmsold. — 
I will briefly explain why your wishes were not 
complied with, and that the Carvills instead 
of Gary have become the purchasers. — You 
may remember when the MS of the Life was 
received by your brother, he offered the work 
to Gary & that he replied in so cold & dis- 
couraging a manner, that we were led to 
believe from some causes unknown to us, he 

was rather disposed to decline it, tinless he 


NEW YORK, APRIL 30!^ 1829 

could obtain it upon his own terms. — In this 
dilemma the Carvills promptly came for- 
ward & purchased the edition, thus relieving 
your brother from any further bargaining on 
the part of Gary. No doubt he since regrets, 
that the work was permitted to slip from his 
hands, and it must be conceded that he has 
behaved very liberally in the purchases that 
he has subsequently made of your Works — 
but in this particular instance the blame lay 
solely with himself. — Now when the Carvills 
lately proposed for the second edition &c. 
your brother & myself held a consultation, & 
determined that it wotild be treating them 
illiberally to reject them without even naming 
a price; accordingly we fixed it at ^6000 a 
price which we did not believe they would 
give, in which case we intended to let Gary 
have the Works; but to our surprise, the little 
men were not to be frightened, & very 
promptly concluded the purchase. 

With this explanation I am certain you will 

NEW YORK, APRIL 30th 1829 

be reconciled with a departure from your 

wishes as to Gary — ^in fact, you must have 

done as we have done, had you been upon the 

spot, nor has Gary any cause to be dissatisfied. 

As in the instance of the Gonquest of 

Granada, the next work that you send your 

brother may be at once offered to Gary; but 

I cannot help thinking that it is bad policy 

on your part to restrict your brother to 

a single pvirchaser; competition will always 

encrease the price, without hazarding in the 

least, the success of your productions. — 

Nevertheless, I agree with you that Gary 

ought to become the purchaser in aU cases in 

which he may be disposed to come up to the 

price demanded — I speak with reference to 

any of your future writings, for no better 

reason however than his being in possession 

of all of them excepting Golumbus. — The 

Garvills are possessed of ample means, and 

their capacity to extend the circulation of 

your Works is hardly below Gary's. — 


NEW YORK, APRIL 3oih 1829 

The Conquest of Granada, has just been 
published, and so far as I can learn, it is very- 
much liked. It is beautifully printed (sterio- 
typed) both in large & small paper & I doubt 
not it will have an extensive circulation. — 

If you are not worn to the bone, I hope you 
have had strength left to write another work 
on the subject of American discovery & con- 
quest — either a History of the Conquest of 
Cortes or Pisarro or both ; it would be an ad- 
mirable sequel to the Life of Columbus, and I 
think that you might then rest (for a time at 
least) from your labors & enjoy the rewards 
& enjoyments of your fame and your industry. 
— Send all your money to your brother & order 
him. to invest in our safest securities & there 
let it remain — they are not only the safest 
but the most productive, & his prudence is 
fully competent to choose the most eligible 
securities. — 

This is so much of a matter of fact business 
epistle that I have barely room to add that 

VOL. II. 13. 193 

NEW YORK, APRIL 30th 1829 

my wife & my six children are very well & 
that I am as usual, rather tired of the sameness 
& want of variety excitment & all the rest, 
that beset the life of a man in this Merchant 

I wrote to your brother on the subject of 
M- Beasely; and expressed my fears that 
some one of the general' s* friends would find 
means to be helped to his Consulate — I have 
heard nothing since, to alter my opinion on 
the subject. — He seems resolved to reward 
personal services without much regard to 
qualification. — 

Sam Swartwout is the Collector — Noah — • 
the inspector, James A Hamilton District 
Att^ in place of John Duer — his particular 
friend. With many other appointments & 
removals from trifling ofl&ces — I hope Beasely 
has been able to show good cause at Washing- 
ton why he ought to retain his office & that 
he has some powerful friend there to uphold 

* Pres. Jackson was often called by his military title. 

NEW YORK, APRIL 30!!} 1829 

him. — Mr. McLean of Delaware is app^ 
envoy to the Court of S- James — ^he is a very 
fine fellow & will do honor to his Country. 
Edward Livingston— has been offered M? 
Brown's place with a given time to make up 
his mind on the subject. — I think he will 
accept, but it is doubtfuU. He is now a 
Senator from Louisianna — ^rather aged — & 
not very rich, as M- Montgomery's Estate, 
which is left to his daughter, does not promise 
to be very large. — I beg my kindest regards 
to your brother & am ever affectionately my 



H. B. jr 
Paulding will (it is said) keep his office. — 


NEW YORK, MAY 31!* 1829 

New York, May 31- iSsg. 


About ten days ago your brother the Judge 
received a very polite letter from MI- Secre- 
tary Van Beuren in which he states it to be 
the intention of the government to offer you 
the appointment of Secretary of Legation in 
London, and is desirous of ascertaining whether 
you would accept the office. — The Judge & 
Ebenezer upon a thorough deliberation of the 
proposal were of opinion that you would not, 
or rather that you ought not to refuse, in 
which I entirely agree with them; accordingly 
an answer was written to the Honble Secre- 
tary to this effect, — and I think there is no 
doubt that the appointment will be made, 
unless a pledge be required for your accep- 
tance, which your brothers probably would 
not think themselves authorized to make. 
When Van Beuren wrote the Letter, the 
Pres- had not been consulted but as both M° 

Lean (the Minister) and himself were desirous 


NEW YORK, MAY 31!* 1829 

of offering you the appointment he entertained 

no doubt that he wovdd acquiesce so soon as 

they were enabled to state that it would be 

accepted. — ^Thus the matter stands at present, 

but as I am among those heretics who place 

no manner of reliance upon politicians & their 

promises, I wait to see the commission officially 

engrossed. — 

I hope you will agree with us that it is not a 

thing to be rejected, especially as it is offered 

without any solicitation on your part, a point 

which I shall take good care to make known. — 

It is certain an honorable mark of confidence 

in you by the govenament, and they can have 

no possible design beyond that of manifesting 

to the world the high regard entertained by 

your Country for your character. — I do not 

know Mr. M'^Lean but I am well assured that 

he is a gentleman; his character & abilities 

are certainly of the first rank: it is not his 

intention (I am told) to carry out his family. 

He will probably embark in the Constellation 


NEW YORK, MAY 31?! 1829 

from Norfolk, in the beginning of July. — 

Should you be averse to the restraint which 

the duties of the ofi&ce might impose upon you, 

you have an able assistant in your brother 

Peter, so that in truth it may be only a 

nominal affair. But after all there will be 

no obligation on your part to retain the office 

longer than a year, should you find it in 

any manner embarrassing or disagreeable. In 

short there appears to me every reason in 

favor of your taking the appointment and I 

earnestly hope you will see the matter in the 

same light that we do. 

You may wonder after all how the devil 

M^ Secretary Van Beuren came to think of 

the thing, although in fact it was precisely 

what he ought to have thought of. But the 

idea did [not] originate in the capacious mind 

of the Secretary; it came from our jolly f? 

Jack Nicolson. — In writing a familiar epistle 

to his friend the high funcionary the worthy 

little fellow suggested that your appointment 


NEW YORK, MAY 311* 1829 

to the office in question would redound to the 
honor & glory of the administration & his 
advice was acted upon forthwith. — 

Jack is as usual, the very glass of fashion, 
& as usual believes himself to stand upon the 
very verge of matrimony, and although it is 
the htmdred & ninety ninth time that he has 
believed himself to be in this perilous predica- 
ment I do believe that he is in more real 
danger in the present case, than in all his 
former escapes put together. — The Lady has 
not actually yielded, but her friends & advisers 
have signified intimations of a very alarming 
nature & I think the little man will be fairly 
enlisted for the rest of his days in the cares of 
working for posterity. — The Lady is in every 
respect a suitable match & has moreover 
some forty or fifty thousand dollars in the 
bargain. — 

Harry Ogden is officiating as Cashier to the 

new Collector S Swartwout; but he tells me 

that he intends to take the first opportunity 


NEW YORK, MAY 311* 1829 

of escaping from the slavery of his office & 
return to his old station at the Post Office. — ■ 

Paulding has just put forth a new work 
"Tales of the old Woman, by a doubtful 
Gentleman." It ought rather to have been 
"Tales by an old Woman" &c. He has cer- 
tainly lost the art of writing; he seems to be 
troubled with a sort of mental dispepsia, every 
thing turns acid that passes through his mind 
— & yet Paulding is a man of genius. 

I take it for granted that after working up 
your Spanish materials, you mean to rest from 
your labors. — I hope it is your intention to 
follow the track of American discovery & 
perform for Cortes &c what you have done for 
Columbus. Having done so, you will have 
an unquestioned right to do as you please & to 
write when you please in which case I should 
not be surprized if you were to produce a work 
of greater merit than any that you have 
written. — 

The Papers say that Beasley's place is to 

NEW YORK, MAY 311* 1829 

be given to a M^ Winchester of Baltimore & 
that Frank Ogden will certainly get the Con- 
sulate at Liverpool. — 

The Ship that is to carry out M' McLean 
(it is said) will carry out Mr Rives & his 
family — to France. Mr Rives is a person- 
age rather distingu6 in the circle at Washing- 
ton; he is a very sensible little man, but cannot 
speak French. — Lee — that scape grace for- 
merly of our acquaintance — ^is to be the Consul 
at Algiers — It must be confessed that his 
qualifications, are well fitted to please that 
kindred potentate. — 

We — that is my Wife & the six children are 
quite well. — ^We intend to pass the season at 
Northampton in Massachusetts in order to be 
near the two boys, who are placed at the 
Round Hill School.* 

I am happy to tell you that my troubles in 
Montreal Bank Stock & sunken lots of ground 
are nearly at an end — Shaving sold the last, 

* George Bancroft and J. G. Cogswell were the principals. 

NEW YORK, MAY 311* 1829 

and being about to sell the first which is now 
at par. — 

Ever my d' Irving Y^ 

H. B. J! 


New York, November 6- i82g. 


I beg to make you acquainted with the 
bearer M' S F B Morse, a gentleman for 
whom I entertain very cordial feelings of 
regard. — He is, as you probably know, one of 
our best painters & has essentially contributed 
both by the aid of his pencil & his pen to 
advance the state of the arts among us. 

The National Academy of design in New 
York is an institution which has done much 
good, although its name is rather pompous. 
M' Morse was the founder of it & continues 
to be its president — ^he has for several years 
delivered coiirses of lectures to a large class of 
artists & students on the theory & practice 
of his art, which, with the annual exhibition of 
works by native artists have produced highly 
beneficial effects. He has moreover claims 
upon my kindness, from his being a fellow 
member of a little club of intelligent individu- 
als who are in the habit of meeting at each 



others houses for social & conversational 
purposes. His design in revisiting Europe is 
to pass into Italy & devote a twelvemonth to 
the study & imitation of the best Masters & 
to gather new materials for his courses of 
lectures. — He expresses a strong desire to 
become acquainted with you, & I think you 
will find him to be an amiable and intelligent 
man. — 

The last letter that I received from you 
was dated Alhambra May 23?. Since then 
I have heard of your progresses & of your 
safe arrival in London. By the reports of 
persons who saw you in Paris, you were 
looking in fine health, (& one Lady writes) 
younger than you did when she last saw you in 
New York! — 

I think you did right in accepting the place 
offered to you so handsomely by the Gov* but 
it grieves me to think that by doing so, your 
intention of coming home must now be post- 
poned. If you find your official duties irk- 



some, there can be no obligation on your part 
to continue in the performance of them 
longer than a twelvemonth, and if you really 
intend to cross the Atlantic, I hope you will 
see fit to resign after that period, or obtain 
leave of absence for an. indefinite period. — I 
am very anxious to hear from you in London 
& to learn how you are pleased. — Everybody 
here, thinks you ought to have been the 

We returned to the City about a month ago, 
after passing the summer months in North- 
ampton & Newport rather agreeably. 

M' Tavish was here lately, to send his 
oldest son in the charge of Capt Rogers, to 
be placed at some great Catholic school 
near Liverpool^ — All the members of our old 
society, including Governor Johnston, dined 
together at Paulding's and drank to your 
health and prosperity. 

Poor Paulding was detained nearly the 

whole of the stmimer at Washington to give 



testimony in the case of a Doctor Watkins. 
He would have resigned his office if he cotdd 
haVe afiforded the sacrifice. — Harry Ogden is 
still in the Custom House — Kemble is at 
Washington — Renwick busy in the election of 
a new president for Columbia College in the 
room of D' Harris recently deceased. — I wish 
he could be the man — but Judge W" Duer, 
with a wife & ten children wants the place & 
his friends, I think, will have influence enough 
to obtain it. The only competitor at present 
is the senior Prof: D^ M° Vicar, who I believe 
is willing to discharge the duties of both offices 
without any augmentation of salary, for the 
good of the Institution. 

Yoiu: brother Ebenezer is very well. He 
had a fall from his Horse, some weeks since 
which might have been a very serious business 
— as it was, he escaped with some contusions, 
but no material injury. — 

Pray give me some news of the literati & 

what they are doing in London. I am anxious 



to see Moore's Life of Byron & I hope his 
memory will be able to reproduce all that was 
good of that extraordinary creature's auto- 
biography. — 

ever my d^ I devotedly Y^ 

(I inclose an Epistle from Capt Jack. His 
love affair, as usual, evaporated in smoke. — ) 


NEW YORK, MARCH 23d 1830 

New York, March 23^- 1830. 

At last my dear Irving 1 have made up my 
mind to revisit Europe, and am busily engaged 
in placing my affairs upon such a footing, as 
may enable me to remain abroad for two three 
or four years , unless I find things there very 
different from what I am prepared to expect. 
Our present intention is to take our departure 
in the Havre packet of the 10- May & pro- 
ceed directly to Paris. — 

My children are now sufficiently advanced 

in life to be benefited by a residence in Europe, 

& we ourselves, have not yet passed that 

melancholy crisis of existence when novelty 

ceases to be enjoyment. As to myself I might 

affect to believe that the period is still very 

distant, but I am unwilling to trust to such a 

hazardous delusion. — I am tired with the 

sameness of this nutshell circle of existence, 

& unless I break from it now, I shall be doomed 

to walk in it to the end of my days. 

To my poor Wife, a change of residence 

NEW YORK, MARCH 23d 1830 

cannot fail" to be attended with the most 
desirable consequences — ^besides the novelty 
of seeing Europe, it is a positive blessing to 
escape from the thraldom of the nursery & 
kitchen in this free & independent City. — 
So that you perceive my dear Irving that 
we have convinced ourselves by a very im- 
partial course of reasoning that it would be 
folly to postpone our expedition to a period 
when we shotdd be no longer capable of 
enjoying it. 

Our first object will be to place the children 
in the best possible manner. — The boys are 
now past the age of ten & eleven & are 
pretty well advanced in latin &c, with some 
knowledge of french. — ^As you are no doubt 
able to give me advice on this subject, I 
need not tell you [how] glad I shall be to 
receive it. — The girls are all younger — the 
eldest about nine, & so downwards to the age 
of two years. — 

I cannot tell how long after our arrival, 

VOL. II. 14. 209 

NEW YORK, MARCH 23d 1830 

it may be in my power to have the gratifica- 
tion of taking you and your brother Peter 
by the hand — it certainly shall not be long 
happen what may — 

Possibly you may be disposed to come over 
to Paris, but at all events we hope to be in 
England sometime in the approaching sum- 
mer. — My mother in law M" Carson is to 
accompany us, and I am under a promise to 
take her to visit her native land as soon as 
our afifairs will permit. She has brothers re- 
siding in London — the elder (?) Mr. Gilbert 
Neville Neyle, is or was a lawyer, & I believe 
has his apartments at Lincoln's inns. He was 
formerly chairman of the Stamp Office. 

M" C has not seen him since she left Eng- 
land, a period of some thirty or forty years 

Before we take our departure I will write 
to you again — Moore's life of Byron has been 
published about a week — it is very much liked 
& promises to have a great run. — 

NEW YORK, MARCH 23! 1830 

My Wife begs to present her regards to 
you. — ever afF Y^ 

H. B. J^ 

M*? Brevoort begs me to thank your 
brother & to say that the veil is all that 
could be wished. 


PARIS, JUNE 17th 1830 

Paris, June if- i8jo. 


We arrived here on the 8- & both our voyage 
to Havre & journey here were performed with- 
out a single disagreeable incident. I have been 
incessantly employed since our arrival in visit- 
ing & examining schools & until yesterday I 
could find none that pleased me. — I hope in a 
few days to settle the children & afterwards to 
be more at leisure. I have two boys of my 
own, and a third, the son of our friend James 
King — and three girls, to dispose of. — The mo- 
ment I am rid of my cares I will think of some 
plan of living — at present we are at the Hotel 
de HoUande Rue de la Paix. — The weather 
since our arrival has been cold & wet — so that 
the firs'^ impression of things in this noisy capi- 
tal has been any thing but pleasing upon M" 
B and her Mother. — Would that you & Peter 
had been here to comfort us ! — 

I received y^ letter by D^ de Butts & he 
came with us in the S Boat to Rouen — since 


PARIS, JUNE 17th 1830 

tiien I have not seen or heard from him. The 
great Christopher Heye is here, and has given 
me very agreeable accounts of you. Capt 
Jack Nicolson came with us — ^he is lo[d]ged in 
the Hotel with M^ Bremner in the Rue d' 
Artois & seems to have entered into the full 
enjoyment of all the good things of Paris. 

Young M^ Storrow has very kindly assisted 
me in finding suitable schools for the children 
& the Ladies of his family seem very amiably 
disposed to those of mine. — 

I wish it were in my power, to set forward 
within the hour to join you in London. Noth- 
ing cotdd contribute so much to my happiness 
as the pleastire of once more meeting you — 
but at present I see no prospect of doing so. 
Possibly you may be at liberty to visit Paris 
shortly. — ^Pray write to me at your leisure. 
My kindest regards to Peter. I am 
My dear I 
ever AS.r Y? 

H. Brevoort, J' 


PARIS, JUNE 17th 1830 

Pray address to Mess" Willis & C? — I wrote 
a line to you on Monday, but it seems that 
is was not in time for the B[ritish] Amb: 
[assador's] dispatches. 


PARIS, JULY 8* 1830 

Paris, July 8- 1830. 


We are now comfortably settled in the 
lodgings N? 14 Boulevard Montmartre, 
lately occupied by M^ & M"? Codman. — 
They are small but M" Brevoort thinks she 
can give you very humble accommodation & 
desires that you will upon your arrival, take a 
look at a Httle bit of an apartment that she 
has at y^ disposal. — ^We have an indifferent 
cook & content ourselves with ordinary fare; 
and the entire seclusion in which we live, will 
exactly suit your views of retirement. — Pray 
let me know as early as possible when you* 
may expect you to arrive here. 

M" Carson is disposed to postpone her 
visit to England until the Autumn, and M" 
B is unwilling to leave heref in Paris 
alone. I am therefore not disposed to let the 
season pass away without stirring about a 
little. — It would exactly suit me to make an 

* This, of course, should be "we." iHer. 


PARIS, JULY 8th 1830 

excursion to Switz"? & the Rhine & return to 
Paris through the Neitherlands,* stopping 
only to see a few principal objects, so as to 
perform the tour within the period of six 
weeks. — Of course I am resolved to stay here, 
rather than travel alone. Might not this 
scheme prove agreeable to you, and if so, it 
would give me the greatest happiness to pass 
so much of our time together. 

The boys & two of the girls are now at 
school. — We have left at home two little 
girls of 2 & 4 years old. — I see that time 
will be required before we can become recon- 
ciled to our new mode of life and forget what 
we have left at home. 

I regret that the life you been obliged to 
adopt, proves at variance with your taste & 
inclination. I was afraid that ofHcial non- 
sense & stupidity would disgust you, but the 
time cannot be distant when you will be free. 
By this time, it must be pretty well ascer- 



PARIS, JULY 8* 1830 

tained that our commercial relations with 
England cannot be put upon the footing we 
desire — ^and your most excellent chief will be 
glad to be released from a station, which on 
many accounts, must have proved very com- 
fortless and perplexing. — But when we meet, 
these things can all be talked over at our 
leisure and we may be permitted to indulge 
ourselves in speculating upon the future, by 
building a snug castle in some retired part 
of the good State of New York, where we 
may glide quietly down the stream of life 
together, sheltered from all annoyances. — ■ 
In these visions, your brother Peter is of 
course entitled to a full participation. 

I am not at all surprised at his preference to 
France. The formality & sulkiness of John 
Bull in the midst of his cloudy capital, must 
present a sad contrast to the sans soucie* 
habits & enjoyments of France. — I saw M- 
Goodhue yesterday for a few moments; he 



PARIS, JULY 8!h 1830 

gave me good accounts of you. — Jack Nicol- 
son is at lodgings in the same House with M- 
Bremner No. 10 rue d' Artois — he has ex- 
hausted nearly all the sights of Paris & talks 
of a journey to Italy. — He has received atten- 
tions from some of the magnates here, which 
has proved a great comfort to his notions of 
enjoyment. As he cannot speak one word 
of French, he has provided himself with a 
manual in which french words are tortured 
into english sounds, & he fancies that he gets 
along pretty well. — The weather has become 
more settled, it does not now rain more than 
twice or three times a day, which must be 
Paradise compared with London. / 

With my kindest regards to your brother 
I am my dear Irving most affect Y? 

Henry Brevoort J^ 



Paris, September 25- 1830. 
N°- 14 Boulevard Montmartre. 


M" Carson is very much troubled in not 

being able to obtain satisfactory information 

of her brother W- Gilbert N Neyle.— The 

answer to the letter which you were the bearer 

of, merely states that he was absent from 

London on account of ill health, but says 

nothing further. — Now if you can spare the 

time, I beg you will call at his residence N? 

35 Upper Harley Street, and let him know 

that his sister has addressed two letters to 

him since her arrival in Paris & is desirous of 

knowing whether they have been received; 

but should he not have returned, I wish you 

would devise some means of ascertaining 

where he is & how a letter should be addressed 

to reach him. It will not I think, be difficult 

to find some person of his acquaintance in 

London as he must be well known. — He has 

held the place of Chairman of the Stamp Office 



& until within the last two or three years, has 
constantly resided at his own apartments 
N? II New Buildings Lincoln's Inn. — He 
must therefore be known to many persons 
of the profession, especially as he has been 
extensively engaged as a conveyancer for 
nearly forty years past. — 

If your engagements will not permit you to 
make these inquiries, pray employ someone to 
exert his best endeavours to do so. 

Your brother has not yet arrived. — Mr. 
Storrow thinks he is at Havre. 

We have seen Mr & M''^ M? L & would 
have been glad to have seen more of them, 
but they have been so fully occupied in going 
the rounds, that it has only been possible to 
get a glance at them. — 

Political affairs here seem by no means 
settled, a change of the Ministry is on the 
eve of taking place — and the people seem 
resolved upon obtaining some direct & im- 
mediate benefit from their revolution — thus 


far, they have been rather depressed by it. — 
I fear the pubUc men are by no means equal 
to discharge the duties that have devolved 
upon them & that many changes must take 
place before affairs may assume an air of 
tranquillity. — 

We all desire to be remembered to you and 

My d- Irving 

ever Y? 
H. Brevoort J^ 



Paris, January 4- 183 1. 


There is an American lady here, a M" 
Brooks from the island of Cuba with an Epic 
poem and a letter of introduction to you from 
M' George Barclay. — She has set her heart 
upon submitting her cantos to your inspection 
and it was her intention to present them in 
person, but having changed her purpose of 
crossing the Channel in the winter season, her 
brother M- Gowan is to take them in charge 
to be delivered to you. I was induced to call 
upon her at the pressing instance of M- 
Cooper, who seems much interested in pro- 
moting her views, and finding her bent upon 
appealing to your judgment, I yielded to her 
urgent request to write you a line in behalf of 
her poem. — 

I endeavoured as delicately as possible to 
repress her hopes of immortality & told her that 
she overrated your influence with the pub- 
lishers who were generally a very hard hearted 
race of men, but all to no purpose. — She 

PARIS, JANUARY 4^ 183 1 

declares her object to be fame rather than 
lucre, and indulges the hope that you may find 
her Epic worthy of being placed in the hands 
of some eminent bibliopole, who will under- 
take to usher it into the world in an appro- 
priate manner. — 

Now as it is well known that you are often 
called upon by our aspiring countr3mien to 
lend them your aid in producing their tragedies 
upon the boards of old Drury, or in procuring 
for them the honors of the Royal Society, I 
cannot doubt your willingness in promoting 
the humble designs of M"? B, or rather 
Sylvia Occidentalis which I think is the name 
she assumes in the title page of her Epic. — 

We are all pretty well, anxiously looking for 

the epoch of our family troubles & the return 

of spring — M" Brevoort desires me to be 

kindly remembered & little Metie begs to 

wish you a happy New Year. — M- Beasley 

has carried away your brother to Havre much 

to our regret. — I dined with them the day 

previous to their departure and was glad to 



find your brother in good spirits & much 
recovered from his severe attacks of headaches. 
I have very little Parisian news to offer. 
Capt Jack had the honor of being presented 
to the Royal Family on New Year's day in 
grand costume ; his reception was very gracious. 
— ^We have been much amused with the 
manner in which Madame Malibran has re- 
ceived her husband who arrived some weeks 
since from New York full of loyal affection for 
his cara sposa. — It seems that the Lady being 
otherwise provided, refused to admit her legal 
lord, and resolved to obtain a divorce forth- 
with. — She took council from Alderman 
Rosevelt, but finding him unable to assist 
her intentions, she placed herself under the 
advice & protection of General Lafayette, 
who at her suggestion carried her to the Hotel 
of M- Rives in the hope that our government 
had entrusted him with powers to redress her 
grievance. — It is only a short time since that 

she could be persuaded to reappear at the 


PARIS. JANUARY 4«1 1831 

Opera — ^but still persists in keeping the 
Monsieur at arms length & will not suffer his 
approaches under any pretext whatever. — 

You must have observed the unceremonious 
manner in which the Chamber of Deputies 
legislated the old general out of his great 
office. — ^Although he seemed to yield with the 
best possible grace in laying down the com- 
mand of the National Guards, it is certain 
that his pride has been mortified & his feel- 
ings deeply wounded. — The Citizen King at- 
tempted to soothe matters by offering to him 
the title of honorary Commander in Chief of 
the N G for life, to which the veteran "of 
the two hemispheres" replied— "How would 
your Majesty be pleased with the title of 
honorary King of the French"— M'.^ G W 
Lafayette says that the gratitude of America 
survived fifty years, while that of France 
became extinct in five months, 

I have not heard from you since 2? of 
November — ^pray write & tell me how you 

VOL. II. IS- 225 

PARIS, JANUARY 4.^^ 1831 

are. Has your little voltune been published — 

it has not reached Paris. Ever my dear Irving 

affectionately Y? 

H. B. 


PARIS, MARCH 7th 1831 

Paris, March f- 1831. 


The shattered state of my nerves barely 
permits my hand to guide the pen, or I woiild 
have told you before of my happy deliverance 
from the misery that has embittered so many 
of the best years of my existence. — The cause 
is completely irradicated, and I begin to 
realize the belief of enjoying a total exemp- 
tion from suffering for the remainder of life, 
but it requires time to restore my system to a 
healthy action. My recovery has been a good 
deal retarded by the necessity of undergoing 
a second operation about three weeks after 
the principal one. — I can now walk a mile or 
two without bearing about me the intolerable 
burthen which not only preyed upon my spirits 
but was wearing out my constitution. When 
we next have the happiness of meeting I hope 
both my outward & my inward man will 
exhibit to you an entire renovation. Thus 

far for myself — the second chapter of events 


PARIS, MARCH 7«^ 1831 

thank God — ^has not been less fortunate. I 
am rejoiced to tell you that my wife gave 
birth to a fine frenchman — about two weeks 
ago & is now nearly recovered from her pains 
& penalties. 

I hope your health is now reistablished & 
that the term of your bondage is near at hand. 
Our present design is to pass the summer in 
Switzerland leaving Paris early in July. Why 
not join us? I do not believe that you could 
dispose of two months more agreeably. — 

The state of public affairs is so lowering 
that one cannot form any project beyond the 
autumn — ^by that time I think the crisis will 
have passed & we may be enabled to look a 
little into the future. — I am resolved to see 
Italy before I return to the U States, but I fear 
my wife will not be able to make up her mind 
to leave the elder children in Paris & to take 
them with us would be highly injurious. I 
would be glad to send them into Spain for six 
or eight months, but who can I get in whom 


PARIS, MARCH 7th 1831 

I should place confidence to take charge of 
them. — ^Nicolson must have arrived in London, 
and the opening of his volume will supersede 
any remarks that I might otherwise make on 
public affairs. — Tell him that I received his 
letter from Brussels & that I wish him all 
manner of enjoyment during his sojourn in 

My mind like yours is engrossed with the 
great events now in progress throughout 

No reliance can be placed upon the present 
state of affairs here. — The Government is too 
feeble to stand long & every change will tend 
towards anarchy. — The higher & middle 
classes of frenchmen are too vicious to appre- 
ciate the blessings of a free Government. — The 
Stocks have had a terrible fall to-day & it is 
beheved that the fall is owing to some news 
that has not yet been suffered to transpire. 
The commerce & the industry of France are 

almost ruined & the depressed state of her 


PARIS, MARCH 7*^ 1831 

funds shews plainly enough that those who 

possess the wealth of the nation have no 

confidence in the existing state of things. 

The Gov* will not be able to make a loan, nor 

to even negociate the bon[s] royals much longer, 

unless public confidence is restored. — An issue 

of paper money is far from being an improbable 

resort, especially in case of war. — It seems 

pretty well understood that the Gov- is 

resolved to put down any fresh disturbance 

in Paris by force of the bayonet & a large 

body of troops of the line are collected, as it 

is believed, for that purpose. — The Poles are 

fighting gallantly, but I fear in vain. — The 

Italian insurrection is spreading and gaining 

force. — But the question that interests me 

most at this moment is the fate of the Reform 

bill, — If it passes I think it will infuse fresh 

blood into the veins of old England & have a 

happy influence upon the affairs of the whole 

world. England under the direction of her 

corrupt oligarchy has been the great disturber 


PARIS, MARCH 7!}} 1831 

of the world for more than half a century. — But 
I fear the Bill will not be carried. In that case 
the reformers will be led forward by the 61ite 
of the kingdom & revolution must follow. The 
supporters of the bill labour under the great 
difficulty of not being able to lay before the 
house the actual state of the case, but thus 
far they have the advantage in argument 
against their opponents. None of the speeches 
however are distinguished by an extensive 
grasp of mind. They do not remind one of 
those giants of old Burke Fox Pitt, &c.— I 
hope Jeffrey will do justice to the high charac- 
ter which he so justly in my opinion merits. 
Mr. Baring (I suppose) cannot get his peerage 
from the present Ministry. — Pray write to 
me on the subject — any and every sort of 
intelligence. — ^What a tower of strength the 
Ministry have lost in Brougham. — 

I am a lover of peace — and my prayer is 
that the cause of national freedom may 

triumph throughout the world. — The impulse 


PARIS, MARCH 7«} 1831 

that has been given to it by the late events 
must prevail. — 

You have done enough for the poem & I 
beg you will give yourself no further trouble 
about it, or its author. — 

We have taken lodgings for the next four 
months at 62 Rue du Faubourg S* Honor^ — 
a little above the Hotel of the British Am- 
bassador, on the opposite side of the street. 
They are very comfortable & we shall have 
plenty of room. — 

M'.' B & M'.' Carson present their best re- 
gards. — The little ones bear you in remem- 
brance. — They all chatter french with more 
facility than I do. — 

I fear my hand writing will puzzle you. — 
ever affect^ Y? 



PARIS, JUNE 30«1 1 83 1 

Paris, June jd- i8ji. 


I returned from Italy about two weeks 

since, quite reistablished in health & most 

happy in finding my wife & the little people 

well. — ^The rapidity of my journey, extending 

to Naples & Psestimi, prevented me from 

having much commtmication with the living. 

I however found time to see nearly all that 

remains of the dead and to fill my mind with a 

new world of associations for future reflexion. 

So entirely had I become absorbed by lofty 

speculations upon the olden time that a return 

to the common realities of life quite disturbed 

my sensibilities. Ten days suffering by the 

Grippe or influenza soon made me sensible of 

my mortal responsibilities & levelled all my 

grand dreams of antiquity. ■ Every one of us 

in turn yielded to this vile distemper — ^with 

the exception of M" C, who is still severely 

indisposed, we are all getting well. 

My personal adventures in Italy possess no 

PARIS, JUNE 30th 1 83 1 

sort of interest. — I met with some of the Bull 
family with whom I associated very agreeably 
and was particularly fortunate in being pre- 
ceded everywhere by that ready reckoner the 
Marchioness of Connyngham who established 
a tariff at the Inns very advantageous to my 
purse. — I am now preparing to set out in 
quest of fresh adventures in a tour through 
Switzerland & down the Rhine; my chief ob- 
ject is to give my poor wife a holiday from 
domestic cares. — ^We shall take our departure 
in about a week, leaving M" Carson in charge 
of the two youngest children the elder ones 
being all at school. Upon our return, about 
the middle of September, I have projected a 
visit of a month to England with M" Bre- 
voort & 1,1" Carson, after which we will sit 
down quietly for the winter in Paris. — I have 
received a letter from our friend Jack Nicolson 
recounting his exploits in the United Kingdom 
& announcing his speedy departure for 

America. The little man appears to have 


PARIS, JUNE 3o!h 1 83 1 

enjoyed himself to the very extent of his 
faculties & returns home happy in having 
passed his year abroad amidst such stirring 

So you are now left sole guardian of our 
nation's honor and welfare near his gracious 
Majesty's Court of S- James! I imagine 
you are not ambitious of being burdened with 
these mighty responsibilities & that you look 
forward impatiently for the time when you 
will be released from diplomatic bondage. — 
Who will succeed you? — 

I hope M- M^Lane will accept his appoint- 
ment. His wisdom will go far in helping to 
steer the vessel of state in a safe course. — 

Pray write me a line & let me know whether 
your brother Peter has or is to join you. — 

All is quiet in Paris, but I fear war with 
Russia cannot long be avoided. M" Bre- 
voort & M" Carson desire to be remembered 
to you & I am ever most afi^ Y? 

H. B. 


PARIS, JUNE 30^1 1 83 1 

Who is the writer of the article in the 
Quarterly on Moore's Life of Byron, Poor 
Byron. ~ The odour of his deeds in Venice is 
as fresh as ever; everyone has some tale to 
rehearse disgraceful to his name. I was how- 
ever much pleased with a highly characteristic 
trait of his feeling at Ferrara told to me by 
an eye witness who accompanied him in his 
first visit to what is called the prison of Tasso. 
Upon entering this damp dungeon he gave or- 
ders to be left undisturbed & actually passed 
an hour & a half in solitary contemplation. — 

I was much pleased with the article (yours 
I presume) on Slidell's book — It was well 
merited & cannot fail to please him. — 

I forgot to tell you what I know must 
interest you, that our fds the Douglas are 
here, committing daily atrocities against decor- 
um, with the most entire unconsciousness of 
design. We keep as clear of them as possible. 
M- C* is here, the Jupiter Tonnansf of 

* James Fenimore Cooper. t ■Sic. 


PARIS, JUNE 3o!h 1831 

his little circle of hearers & admirers. His 
book is nearly finished. The principal scene 
of action is laid at Venice which will enable 
him to display his nautical lore. But his 
main object, he declares to be, the striking a 
blow at the aristocracy of England, through 
that of Venice. He and Paulding will never 
rest until they have laid that old sinner Eng- 
land upon her back, exposed to the derision 
of the whole world. It is an enterprise 
worthy of Don Quixotte. 


PARIS, JULY 8th 1 83 1 

Paris, July 8i 1831. 


I wrote to you a few days since by the Amb :' 
bag. — You have probably heard the particu- 
lars of the Treaty of indemnity signed on' the 
4*?^ with the F Government, but as W. R* 
called yesterday and communicated the prin- 
cipal points contained in it, I think you will 
be glad to receive intelligence from official 

The F G engages to pay us twenty five 
millions of francs as a compensation in full for 
all claims arising from Sequestrations Confisca- 
tions Captures Burning property at Sea & 
Condemnations in Port. Payment is to be 
made in six equal annual installments bearing 
interest at the rate of four per centtim from 
the date of the ratification, which will, with 
the principal augment the indemnity to about 
Twenty eight Millions and a half. — Claims 
of our citizens for supplies to the F Gov* 

* W. C. Rives, the American Minister. 

PARIS, JULY 8!h 1831 

at S- Domingo are not included in this 

The Treaty prescribes no principle of dis- 
tribution amongst the claimants, either by a 
pro rata payment or otherwise. This point 
was designedly left open in order that our Gov? 
might be enabled to distinguish those claims 
especially entitled to a full liquidation from 
those of a less meritorious character. But 
it is the opinion of M- R grounded upon 
doctmients in his possession & unpublished 
despatches to our Gov* by M- Gallatin, that 
the sum to be received will be sufficient to pay 
every bona fide claim arising from the causes 
before enumerated. — It - fully appears from 
those authorities that the Antwerp, Holland 
& S- Sebastian claims, including those for 
property burnt at Sea do not exceed in amotmt 
the sum of Fourteen Millions — & that the 
claims for condemnations in violation of 
public law & existing treaties, will not upon 

strict investigation be found to exceed Fifteen 


PARIS, JULY 8th 1 83 1 

Millions. — Indeed most of these claims have 
all along been considered hopeless, as a 
great portion of them are well known to be 
for the property of aliens covered by Am: 
names & documents — ^but it has been the 
obvious policy of our Gov* to swell the total 
amount to as large a nominal sum as was 
possible. — 

The Beaumarchais claim is to be settled 
in full by the pajmient of one & a half Mil- 
lions of f? but as it has no connexion with 
the other claims it will probably be liquidated 

The F Gov* agree to relinquish all claims 
& obligations arising from their construction 
of the 8* article of the Louisiana Treaty, 
upon condition, subject to the will of con- 
gress, that French Wines shall be admitted 
by us at a reduced rate of duty for a period 
of ten years. 

As an equivalent, they stipulate for the 

admission of our long staple Cotton at a rate 


PARIS, JULY 8th 1 83 1 

of duty not higher than that now imposed 
upon the short staple Cotton. 

Those are the essential points embraced 
in the Treaty & it can hardly be doubted 
that when the many diflfictilties standing in 
the way are known & understood M^ R's 
services will justly entitle him to the grati- 
tude of his cotmtry . — The ability with which he 
has discharged his trust may be estimated by 
comparing the sum to be obtained with that 
reported by the Commission of the Deputies 
which was only ten millions of fr? — ^A very 
mistaken idea has prevailed in the U States 
that the late revolution was an event favour- 
able to the recovery of our claims, more 
especially as our f^ Lafayette might have it in 
his power to interpose his influence in obtain- 
ing their adjustment under the new Gov* 
But the truth is, that with the best disposi- 
tions in our behalf the old General has never 
had any real influence & even if he had 
possessed it, any overtures from him would 

VOL. II. 16. 241 

PARIS, JULY 8«^ 1 83 1 

have been regarded with distrust as coming 
from one anxious to requite obHgations & 
predisposed to our interests. — He has in fact 
had nothing to do either directly. or indirectly 
in the settlement of our differences. 

The Mission of Mf. R has been one of 
continued vexation & anxiety, and has given 
him a sufficient taste of diplomacy for the 
remainder of his life. He assures me that al- 
though he has for months retired in despair, 
he always arose with fresh hopes of success 
resolved by untiring perseverance to accom- 
plish his task. — He had nearly brought matters 
to a conclusion under the old Gov- — This 
fact has been a prevailing argument in his 
negociations with the existing Gov-, but he 
has found them by no means so ready to 
admit the injustice of the acts of the Imperial 
Spoiler,* as their predecessors. — 

In short the worthy little Minister seems 
like one relieved from a burthensome disease — 

* Napoleon Bonaparte. 


PARIS, JULY 8!!} 1831 

& indeed he had almost worn himself into 
a consumption by the disappointments the 
anxieties & the vexations that beset him in 
his negociations with this crafty Republican 
Monarchy. — 

He intends to recreate himself by a visit 
to England & anticipates much pleasure in 
renewing his acquaintance with you, which 
happened some sixteen years ago whilst we 
were the subjects of the Dowager Mad. 
Bradish. — 

We are busily employed in preparations 
for our journey to Switzerland & intend to set 
out for Geneva tomorrow afternoon, being all 
recovered from the influenza. — 

Renwick has written to you about the 
embryo tome, which I hope you will be able 
to dispose of to some of the Bibliopoles in 
London. — 

I forgot to mention upon my return from 
Italy that I have convinced myself of the 
originaUty of my Madonna. — If the Madonna 


PARIS, JULY 8^1 1 83 1 

del Gran duca in the Pitti Palace is by the 
hand of Raphael mine is most assuredly, 
though differing in composition, of the same 
family, & fully equal to it in every point of 
excellence. — I wish Newton could see it. — ■ 
To possess a fine picture by Raphael I know 
is reckoned a little extravagant, but as mine 
was found at Angostura, where it had been 
known time out of mind in the possession of a 
Spanish family of rank reduced to poverty 
by the revolution, the probabilities in favor 
of its originality are much encreased. All the 
Connoisseurs have confinn[ed] my opinion. — 
By the by I gave a line of introduction to 
a very agreeable young German some time 
ago, which he will present to you within ten 
days. He is every way worthy of y^ ac- 
quaintance & will not require any trouble- 
some civilities. 

M" B begs her remembrance to you & 
y^ brother & I am ever my d^ I Y^ 

H. B. 


PARIS, JULY 8th 1 83 1 

I saw Kenny's exposition in the Lit: 
Gazette; it deserves to be printed on silk & 
framed as a phisyological ctiriosity. 


PARIS, MARCH 25th 1832 

Hotel de Hollande, 16 Rue de la Paix. 
March 2f^ {1832). 


M" Carson leaves us tomorrow malgr6 
the cholera on a visit to her brother, N° 35 
Upper Harley Street. We have some idea of 
following her early in May to spend a month 
in England. 

I have rec^ a letter from Renwick (feb 
18) He observes that he had paid Col A's* 
bill of exchange for the postage of his MS 
but had heard nothing further of his offspring, 
I suppose it arrived at Liverpool during Og- 
den's absence. He fears you will not be able 
to find a publisher. It has occurred to me 
that a reference to Capt Edw: Sabine (the 
Sec: of the Royal Society) might be of use. 
He is a particular fd of the Professor's & 
entertains a very high idea of his talents & 
requirements. But I fear he is in Ireland. — • 

Does your friend M^ Rich tindertake to 

* Col. Thomas Aspinwall. 


PARIS, MARCH 25!^ 1832 

purchase books at the London pubHc sales? 
If so, at what rate of commission — I may want 
a couple of hundred volumes, not rare ones, 
and I am unwilling to pay the book-selling 
prices. Pray mention my name to him & my 
project, that I may call upon him if I go to 
London. — 

I saw you brother yesterday. — ^We are as 
usual. Monsieur Fellenberg writes very en- 
couragingly of our little boys — they have he 
says, conquered the elementary difficulties 
of the german language. — I hope to see them 
in the course of the summer & unless anything 
happens to change my mind, I will leave them 
in Switzerland for three years. I presvime 
that you are still with M' Van Bviren. His 
rejection by the Senate surprised me. It was 
a bold party step, but instead of crushing him 
it will only aid & advance his political views 
after the existing excitement has subsided. — 
The grounds of accusation assumed by his 

opponents were not sustained, nor would 


PARIS, MARCH 25* 1832 

they have been brought forward against any 
other nomination. I am no party man & 
hate the savage warfare that is waged by our 
pohticians. I think therefore that I am the 
better able to judge of this transaction with 
impartiality. Everyone will appreciate the 
motives which led to his rejection. 

I hope he will not return without paying 
a visit to the faderland. I can venture to 
assure him that he will be highly gratified. — 
Our entertaining charg6 at the Hague told 
me that the Minister Verstolk of foreign 
affairs enquired particularly about M- Van 
Buren's dutch name & claimed him as a 
descendant. It seems the Minister is very 
proud of the ancient colony of New Neither- 
lands. — 

I saw M' Van Buren's son several times 
whils't he was in Paris. — He went to Naples 
under the escort of your admirer* the Red 
Rover, who has gone to bother Sir W Scott 

* Miss Douglass. 


PARIS, MARCH 25th 1832 

with her homage. I do not think M^ J V B* 
is in much danger of being devoured by that 
she abomination. 

We have here a genuine specimen of a 
character only produced in the United States. 
His name is Carr & he has the appointment 
of Constd from the U S. at the Court of 
Monnaco.f He has been in Paris these three 
months spending his outfit somewhat like a 
sailor who has received the wages of a long 
cruise. — I would not be in the least svirprised 
if he were to find his way into S* Pelag6. — He 
is a tall gaunt Randolph looking figure, full 
of strange oaths which he utters lolling upon 
two or three chairs. He has killed two or 
three of his compatriots in duels & talks with 
perfect nonchalance of putting a man to 
death. I have only seen him once at our 
neighbor Mr. Pringlis, but have been afraid 
of making his acquaintance lest he might eat 
me. — I never saw such a mixture of the bar- 

* John Van Buren. t Sict 


PARIS, MARCH 25th 1832 

barian & fine gentleman, — He has a taste for 
coins medals & pictures & has already pur- 
chased a collection. — He has caused a gold & 
silver medal to be struck; the first is intended 
to commemorate his marriage & upon the one 
side himself & his wife are represented kneeling 
before an altar, their hands united ; the motto 
happiness & fidelity — on the reverse, is a sort 
of monogram formed with the initial letters of 
their names by which it is to be understood 
that a P has been turned into C. The silver 
medal is in honor of the birth of his daughter. 
— Paris he assured me was, to a man who has 
become thoroughly acquainted with it, the 
seat of the arts. "Everything Sir may be 
got in this City from a penny whistle to a 
german flute. I might have bought two 
venuses upon copper by T^ytian for fourteen 
hundred francs; perhaps they were copies, 
but they were just as good as originals." — 
He has left cards for many of the distinguished 

Parisians, with his name & functions printed 


PARIS, MARCH 25th 1832 

in arabic which language he is studying for 
the court of Monacco. M" C is a very 
beautiful woman the daughter of a Judge 
Polk of Maryland. — She eloped with the 
Consul from a boarding school at the age of 
thirteen, carrying under her arm her school- 
books. — ^They give soirees & are in the most 
fashionable society that masked balls can 
afford. — But I think I have given you quite 
enough of him. 

M" B has received a letter from a 
friend in New York giving an account of the 
sayings & doings of the fashionable world — 
a grand ball had just been given by some dis- 
tinguished foreigners, at which several of our 
leading matrons presided under the style of 
"Lady patronesses." 

L3mch has succeeded in forming a very 
agreeable musical club, but as he limited 
the number of subscribers to only two hun- 
dred, it is thought too exclusive & the 

worthy don has been placarded for his 


PARIS, MARCH 25"} 1832 

pains in getting up an elegant source of 
amusement. — 

I do not ask when you have appointed to 
leave England, as I imagine you have not been 
able to fix upon the exact period. — M" B 
desires to be remembered & I am faithfully 

Y? H. B. 


Fontainebleau, July zS'-i, 1832. 


Although I have little to communicate, I 
caimot deny myself the pleasure of writing 
and rejoicing with you upon your arrival, and 
reception in the land of our nativity. — 

The festival was a glorious burst of public 

freedom, and in reading an account of it, I 

fancied myself seated at the table, mingling 

with our loyal friends & townsmen in cheering 

& greeting yotir long expected return. I felt 

all alive to the delicacy of the position in 

which their kindness had placed you, and I 

doubted whether your nerves would carry 

you through a public speech, upon an occasion 

so trying — ^but go to, you are an orator, & 

may now aspire to the dignity of bourgo- 

master in Gotham! — No doubt you would 

have taken the will for the deed, to escape the 

pains & penalties which your illustrious doings 

had imposed upon you; but your misgivings 

of my gentle public, I think, fairly merited 



this infliction of a triumph; and for once 
in your life I was not sorry to find you com- 
pelled to perform a part so repugnant to your 
natvire. — 

A letter from your brother Peter informs 
me that you were at Washington, and that 
you and your friend Newton had projected a 
grand summer tour. Would it were possible 
to join you! — I should propose setting off from 
Montreal in a bark canoe, and a dozen 
sturdy Canadian voyageurs, up the Utawa or 
Grand River, to the grand portage, by Lakes 
Huron & Superior. Thence return to Macki- 
nak, & the Mississippi, by Lake Michigan; 
thence down to the mouth of the Ohio, & up 
that river to Pittsburg, & so onward to Lake 
Erie, and Niagara — ^making sundry detours in 
the course of the route. At Niagara we might 
rest awhile, & then take a fresh departure. 
My imagination is often haunted by past 
scenes of wild adventure, and lonely grandeur, 

in those regions of future empire; and I 



should dearly like to live them over again 
with you. — ^All other modes of travelling are 
naught to that of the bark canoe; it unites 
every variety of comfort & pleasure, including 
the peril of being scalped in these times of 
Indian warfare. — Instead of accomplishing 
this high enterprise, I shaU even be satisfied, 
when we meet again, to pilot you through the 
horrors of HeU Gate, or wander with you and 
our trusty & weU beloved cronies Paulding 
Kemble, & the Supercargo, through our old 
highland haunts, frighting the stripling trout, 
and parodying the sports of the gentle Izaac. — 
But to descend from these cloudcapt visions, 
I am glad to hear that you mean to travel. 
Jonathan has grown up a stout gentleman 
since you knew him in the days of yore, and 
I think you will see many whimsical features 
in his crude character, unknown to you before. 
— Besides, you owe yourself a long holyday. — 
"And further, by these, my son be ad- 
monished : of making many books there is no 



end; and much study is a weariness of the 
flesh." — So saith the Preacher, and I say, so 
be it!— 

As to me & mine, we are still here, & are 
most grateful for the bounties bestowed upon 
us. Amongst these, which your c61ibataires 
may deem questionable, is the birth of a 
demoiselle — ^being the Eighth & positively 
the last performance. The number eight is 
fraught with good omens, an[d] albeit I am 
no prophet, it must abide. My poor wife 
was never so well before. — The little people 
are all quite well, and are beginning to fill 
up a fearful space in our retinue. 

Yotir friend little Meta is at hand, teaching 

Constance to read, with an air of raatronly 

importance. She has a vivid recollection of 

your gallantries, and desires me to say to M' 

Irving, she wishes to kiss him, and to shew 

him her great doll in New York. — This prime 

pet was a cadeau from her friend the late M' 

Jimmy Thompson. — 



The boys are working hard at Hofwyl, and 
M- Fellenberg speaks very encouragingly of 
them; & particularly so of James King. Our 
last letters left them full of the gayest antici- 
pations. They were to set off upon the annual 
pedestrian tour through Switz^ on the first 
of August. — I hope to visit them in Sept' — 
and if they satisfy my expectations, I think 
I shall leave them with M^ F until the 
spring of 1834. — They will then have been 
there nearly three years, and will I trust have 
acquired habits of application and activity 
which may last them all their Hves. — "He that 
hath many children, giveth pledges to the 
world against great enterprises." — ^Although 
this dictum applieth not to me, I am wilUng 
to avail myself of it, as an apology for hiding 
my light. I have however worked very hard 
since I have been here, and I have filled my 
mind with many quaint scraps of learning 
& wisdom, from the fine old library in the 
Chateau. It has been my chief resource in 

VOL. II. 17. 257 


this quiet retreat, and I have really renewed, 
(I might say acquired) habits of application, 
which make me regret lost time, and the 
briefness of life. — I intend to carry home a 
substantial addition to my books, which I 
shall have the means of collecting th[r]ough- 
[ou]t the winter. — My house is rather too 
small for my present stock of books and child- 
ren, but I hope to be able to build another one 
of more suitable dimensions. I mention these 
projects to you, because you have a prescrip- 
tive right of fellowship in all that belongs to 
me. — ^And I will thank you to point out to me 
any valuable works that I may not be ac- 
quainted with. — ^Whilst I was in London in 
May (to fetch M'' Carson) I paid a visit to 
your friend Rich, and shall avail myself of his 
services in purchasing books. — It is my fixed 
determination, under providence, to go home 
in May. — The fear that I may not have the 
happiness of seeing my kind old parents is 

a constant cloud over my mind, and I am 



always regretting the unavoidable necessity 
that compelled me to defer my departure 
until the next spring. 

My Sister writes me that you had glad- 
dened their hearts by a sociable visit; and 
your brother teUs me that you were sur- 
prised to find him so Httle altered by the 
weight of so many years. — I beg you will 
give me an account of them, and a very 
particular one. — 

We dread to hear the next accounts from 
N Y. — The reappearance of the Cholera in 
Paris & London is ascribed to the extreme heat 
of the weather & to eating quantities of un- 
wholesome fruit. — ^What then may we not 
apprehend of N Y — ^where these causes of 
pestilence exist in a much greater degree. — 
The Therm: at this place rose to 90 & remained 
so for several days — but we have had few 
deaths. I think we owe our protection to the 
vast forest that sturovmds us. — ^Where was 

Capt Jack when you arrived — By this time 



he must be steering his gallant frigate for the 

When you have an hours leisure, fail not to 
bestow it upon me & follow my example in 
saying a great deal of yourself & your affairs. 
You know how deeply I feel interested in 
these topics. — My good wife desires to be 
most cordially rememb : to you & by you, and 
I am 

ever afifec'^ Y? 

H. Brevoort. 


PARIS, JANUARY i8th 1833 

Paris, January 18- i8jj. 

The latest accounts we have of you my dear 

Irving left you at Washington, from whence 

you were expected to arrive in New York 

about Christmas. — I congratulate your safe 

return from exploring the wild regions of the 

far West. Did you shoot a Buffalo or capture 

a wild courser — Pike's description of this 

glorious sport on the boundless prairies has 

left indelible impressions upon my memory. 

America in every aspect is now sought after 

with eagerness in Europe more than ever. 

Such writers as Mother TroUope are a real 

benefit to us. — ^The point of their satire gives 

their works a circulation amongst readers who 

would never else have been tempted to bestow 

a thought upon us, whilst the truth remains 

and excites an interest to know more. — If I 

were not too much under the influence of 

the foul fiend — too insensible to publicity — & 

peradventure too conscious that I could not 

satisfy my own taste, I might be tempted by 



the present curiosity of the public to ransac[k] 
my mind for adventures & scenes in America. 
I have read Paulding's "Westward ho" with 
delight. It is the best of his works & not in 
my opinion surpassed by that of any other 
competitor of the day. The work would have 
been more equal if Paulding had been as well 
acquainted with the West as he is with the 
ancient dominion. — It is in the hands of a 
french translator & will soon appear. I will 
send out a copy when it appears. — The D's 
fireside has had great success here. — Why did 
he not sell his Copyright in England ; or is he 
insensible to filthy lucre. — 

Have you seen Miss Martineau's Illus- 
trations of Polit! economy? — They are pro- 
ductions of the highest merit & will be 
universally read in the U States. — The last one 
on "French wines & politics" it is said has 
enlightened the inhabitants of the Tuileries to 
such a degree that it is feared by DT Bowring 

& the other negociators of a commercial treaty 


PARIS, JANUARY i8«? 1833 

with England, their labours will have been in 
vain. — 

I perceive that you dined with Hamilton at 
Charleston. How is it possible for a man of 
honor to play such a game & reconcile it to his 
conscience? I should not be amazed to see 
him here, if he has the luck to escape from his 
perilous enterprise. Our last accounts from 
Charleston are to the 20* Dec^ The presi- 
dent's weU timed and triumphant proclama- 
tion was said to be making a deep impression. 
It is possible the minority may gain the ascend- 
ant, but knowing as I do the indomitable 
characters of the leaders & their unhallowed 
designs, I fear they will not capitulate without 
bloodshed. — They are no doubt taxed two or 
three hundred thous^ dollars per annum by 
the unequal operation of the tariff; this is the 
sttm total of their grievances — all the other 
alleged causes of discontent are inventions to 
stir up the passions of the people. — Their 

patriotism must be strangely diluted to mag- 


PARIS, JANUARY i8«! 1833 

nify this temporary evil into pretext for 
rebellion & separation. — How much more did 
the Yankees suffer during the embargo &c, 
&c. — But the real nature of their disaffection 
lies deeper to my certain knowledge. They 
have lost the field of ambition at Washington 
and they are bent upon creating one of their 
own. The productions of their lands are 
reduced to half their former value by the 
competition of the new states. The subdivi- 
sion of property has reduced their plantations 
within paltry limits. They fear some decisive 
step will be taken to mitigate the condition of 
Slavery. — But above all they hate us with the 
rancour of Shylock for our prosperity & impute 
our gains to their losses. An ignorant popula- 
tion is easily inoculated by these plausible 
wrongs to deeds of unlawfulness and vengeance 
& I fear they will never rest until the union is 
dissolved. — Let them do it by fair means & 
not by violence if they can. How many states 

would be desirous of uniting in their wretched 


PARIS, JANUARY i8«! 1833 

confederacy remains to be seen — not less than 
five or six I imagine. — They will be our Ireland 
without the shadow of the wrongs of that ill 
fated cotintry to stimtdate them to civil war. — 
You have no idea of the exultation of the 
friends of strong government over our im- 
pending difficulties on this side of the Water. 
The disgraceful elopement of one of the sisters 
of our family they say casts a deep stain upon 
our house. The Carlists &c, insist upon it 
that nothing but a legitimate King will restore 
us to order & prosperity. Johnny Bull is 
fuU of brotherly sympathy; he beholds new 
markets for his wares. The cause of freedom 
is belied & dishonored. — Perhaps I view the 
evil on the dark side — I shall be glad to have 
your opinion & shall rejoice in finding myself 
naistaken. — 

I intend to return to New York in April or 
May if I can. My wife will remain another 
year & then bring back the children. At present 

we are all well & getting on very agreeably. 



M" Carson is in a state of great agitation 
on ace* of her son who is an aid de camp to 
Hamilton & a furious nuUifier. She wishes to 
return home. 

Your brother Peter is very well, but as 
usual will not be tempted from his daily 
routine. His spirits are cheerful & I see him 
pretty often, we are near neighbors. — This 
will be conveyed to you by Col: Thorn who 
goes to the U S to take possession of his late 
son's fortune. — He carries with him sundry 
patent machines for fattening fowls which 
ought to entitle him to the Civic wreath from 
our worthy corporation of Aldermen. — 

The animal is confined to a close dungeon 
& its food is injected by a sort of stomach 
pump which occasions instant S3mcope from 
which it does not recover for many hours. 
Thus within a fortnight it becomes as cor- 
pulent & fat as the late George the fourth of 
exclusive memory. 

The Col's family remains at Florence under 


PARIS, JANUARY i8«} 1833 

the protection of the Grand duke. — The 
young Marquis Carlo Torrigiania goes with 
the Col. He is a nobleman of the* one of the 
most illustrious houses of Tuscany & intends 
to travel through the U S. He seems a very 
agreeable person & I recommend him to your 
notice but do not give him a Letter, I have 
given him an Introduction to Renwick. — 
Old John Jacob Astor and I are again tmited 
in the bonds of intimacy. The old Gent finds 
me vastly entertaining, if one may judge from 
the frequency of his visits. — 

Pray remember me to all our old fds — 
including your brother and the Geni — My 
wife salutes you. 

I am my dear Irving, affect Y? 

H. Brevoort. 



NEW YORK, JUNE 27th 1834 

{New York) College Green, No. 3, 

Thursday {June) 2f-, {1834). 


By the latest Paris letters (15 May) our fds 
the Aspinwalls, were all getting well & pre- 
paring to embark by one of the next packets 
from Havre to N Y. 

Ebenezer told me yesterday that you had 
not received any letters by the late arrivals 
from Peter; — ^you are, therefore ignorant of 
the misfortunes that have befallen the poor 
A's. — My wife writes to me. (26 Apl) 
["] M" Cooper came to announce to me 
the death of M'^.' A's youngest daughter, 
the little angelic creature of Constance's 
age whom we admired so much. She died 
of scarlatine & the eldest is now very 

What a trial for the poor parents just on the 

eve of departure, for they had ahnost engaged 

to go out with DePeyster. — Cooper is really a 

good man. He has been their consolation & 


NEW YORK, JUNE 27*^ 1834 

friend & talked to me with tears in his eyes 
of the event." . 

— May 5*?* "I have been the more uneasy 
from the distressing state of poor M" A's 
family. They have lost both their youngest 
children of the ages of Meta & Constance with 
scarlatine. The eldest & second are not yet 
declared out of danger. I cannot imagine 
a more trying situation — M"? A and the 
Colonel, both ill in bed. They have two 
sisters of charity to nurse the children. Their 
affairs all in confusion in consequence of the 
projected voyage to America. M^ Irving 
has been several times to see me. He goes 
daily to assist & console the poor Aspin- 

But as I have said before — they were all 
convalescent on the 15 May — and preparing 
to leave the scene of the afHiction. 

My wife and our little people were all pretty 

well. I wotild have written to you before, but 

I took it for granted you had rec^ letters 


NEW YORK, JUNE 27^} 1834 

from Peter. His attentions to the poor 
A's have no doubt prevented him from writ- 
ing to you. — 

There is nothing new here. M' Sec^ Liv- 
ingston was at the Red R's soiree last night. 
He is in high spirits & full of fun. He 
hopes to embark for France before the end 
of the next month. — The R R had another 
lion of formidable dimensions at her gathering 
— M^ Trelawney — the same who has favoured 
the world with his veracious adventures under 
the title of "The Adv^ of a Younger Son. "— 
He is in appearance the beau ideal of his fd 
Byrons Corsair & looks as if he could kill & 
eat a man for breakfast. 

He arrived a furious radical & has been 
greatly refreshed & confirmed by his travels 
in the Mississ: Ohio & in Virginia. — 

I wish he would do violence to yotir tender 
admirer the R R — The more so, be- 
cause by my being begtiiled to her gathering, 

I am now in for a christening of a young 


NEW YORK, JUNE 27th 1834 


Munroe, on Saturday night. — One error my 
dr f^ begets another. — I went to meet some 
Carolina Ladies, who refused to go without 
me. — 

Write me a line, if you can, 

ever aflec'^ Y- 

H. B. 

Towards the end of the soir6e — one of my 
Carolina fds, a shrewd old Widow asked me 
who was that little round old Gentleman, so 
busily employed in returning the heel taps 
left upon the side-board into the decanters? 
Who should it be or could it be, but mine 
honest crabbed f4 Billy Procter. His heart 
smote him at beholding the waste & riot of his 
dear adopted. — 



t ■ 

{New York) Monday, Nov. 10'- 1840. 


M^ & M'f Rives & M^ Ligare have 
promised to dine with us on Thursday next 
at half past 4 O'clk, and I need not say how 
much pleasure it will give us to have you with 
us. As a further inducement I promise to 
give you some good music in the evening. — ■ 
M' Gary, begs me to add, that he hopes for 
the pleasure of your company at one of his 
S3anposiums on Satturday next at }4 past 
4 O'clk.— 

Pray let me know your will & pleasure. I 
saw M^ Astor on Saturday, thinking he might 
know when you would be in Town. He says 
he hopes to see you as soon as possible, but 
cannot say what day it will be. — 

I remain truly Y- 

Henry Brevoort, J^ 


New York, June, I mean July i- {1841]. 


I came down the River this morning from 
Beverly where we are all comfortably nestled 
in the old mansion of treason & have been 
wishing & wishing for the pleasure of seeing 
you. — I promised Gouv Kemble, to write to 
you, & to unite his entreaties with mine to 
induce you to leave your cottage & come 
up to the Highlands. About an hour ago I 
chanced to see our friend M' West, who told 
me that he intended to pass the 4 July with 

I told him of my designs upon you & invited 
him to come up with you. The easiest route 
is by the way of Cornwall & West Point. 
From the latter place you will always find a 
good Ferry Boat, to take you over to Nelson's 
landing which is one & a half miles from 
Beverly — or if you wish it, the Boat wiU carry 
you direct to the Beverly landing within a 
short half mile of us, through a beautiful 

VOL. n. — 18. 273 

NEW YORK, JULY iL* 1841 

shady walk. Or if you will write me a line 
P. Office Cold Spring, I will have our wagon in 
waiting for you at Nelson's landing. — 

Now pray write to me, & tell me when we 
may hope to see you. — 

I will not say anything to excite your ex- 
pectations of Beverly, but I defy the S [un?] of 
New York to rival us in the rising of the Moon 
over the peak of the Sugar loaf. Yesterday 
evening we enjoyed this delight for the first 
time, & as you are acquainted with the 
motions of her Ladyship, pray come whilst 
she is in the humour of making her appearance 
over the Sugar loaf. — 

Y^ most truly, 

H. Brevoort, J' 


BEVERLY, AUGUST 30th 1841 

Beverly, Aug. jo- 1841. 



I was relieved from much anxiety by hearing 
from your brother when I was last in town, 
that you were nearly recovered from your 
severe indisposition, which however I was 
glad to learn had not been so alarming as was 
publicly reported. It is not improbable that 
your exposvue to a burning sun in riding out- 
side all the way from Honesdale to Newburg 
may have stirred up the bile & caused a 
feverous attack. 

You will find enclosed a copy of verses 

addressed to you by one of your admirers, a 

theatrical moon-struck neighbor of mine, 

who has done me the honor of making me the 

medium of transmitting his effusion to your 

hands. He certainly has some claims to your 

notice, which you will readily admit after 

reading the quotation which follows, from his 

letter to me. "Circumstances which have 

come to my knowledge have induced me to 


BEVERLY, AUGUST 30*!} 1841 

believe that you are upon terms of intimacy 
with that beautiful author & amiable man, the 
first reading of whose lovely descriptions of sim- 
ple unhacknied nature & home nurtured feel- 
ings thrilled me with ineffable delight, & every 
repetition has deepened the impression. I 
wish to present him with a token of a strangers 
esteem, and although when compared with 
his poetical genius it is but a mere trifle, I feel 
assured that his critical acumen will be tem- 
pered by the gentleness of his disposition," 
— Think of that Master Brown & weep ! 

My poor dear old father, as you know is now 
no more, and although his departure was an 
event long expected, I cannot express to you 
the deep and solemn impression which the 
dying moments of the good old man has left 
upon my heart. — 

The long gun, to which I think you have 
a prescriptive right of inheritance, I now beg 
leave to offer you in the name of the family, 

hoping that you may live to enjoy its posses- 

276 ' i 

BEVERLY, AUGUST 30th 1841 

sion as long, and as happily, as did its late 
worthy owner. — 

My Wife & the girls beg me to offer their 
kindest remembrance and I am my dear 

Y? affectionately 

Henry Brevoort. 



Presented to Washington Irvin[g] Es^- 
By his ardent, though humble admirer 

J. Mills Brown. 


I became affected, as I have here attempted 
to describe, while hearing a celebrated Vocalist 
rehearse the melody of "Erin, a smile and a 
tear in thine eye " for it recall'd to my feeHngs, 
the beautiful singleness of expression with 
which I have heard that Air breath 'd by Hps 
that are now motionless and cold: — two days 
previous to this I had received intelligence of 
the mortal dissolution of her, who was, — 
Miss B — ^tt of Boston. 

"The storm that racks the winters sky, 
"No more disturbs Thy deep repose, 
"Than summer evenings latest sigh, 

That shuts the Rose. " 

Why are those tones so touching, and so chill? 

My heart deep sighs; and through my eye-lids 




A hallow'd tenderness — and mute — and still 
As dew-drops from the mateless King-Doves 
Slow dripping to her melancholy murmuring. 

Benumbing chillness tingles through each 

Like icy shoots that crisp the placid lake 
When sighs hoar Winter from his frozen Peak, 
And small birds twitter in the lonely brake 
Sad song — ^And eddies, soft and dim, the snowy 

'Tis Memorys chords swept by that mournful 

Which once shed perfume o'er my slumb'ring 

A melody of bHss! — almost a pain 
As thy pure lips their rose-bud folds did part 
To breathe sweet-briar tones — and thrill without 


And art Thou fled sweet Warbler like a dream? 
Oh ! still I feel thy heart-distending notes 
Influsing gentleness — a May-morn gleam, 
Of the souls brightness! Now thy spirit floats 
Heaven-wing'd, and hymning thoughts such as 
thine eyes did beam. 

Thy voice was as the light of a clear Moon ! 
Beaming a mellow radiant tide, that fills 


And doth o'erflood the gazers eyes — then soon 
Ebbs dim — again, now o'er the brink it wells, 
While from the half -closed lids, heart-dews do 
trickle down. 

Well, Thou art dead — No more — 'Tis better so 

Than to outlive the bliss of warm affection. 

Through the drear sands of Life deep-wading — 
slow — 

Drag harsh and dull those wheels which once did 

With fiery whirl ! — extatic expectation ! 

Bounding o'er wild-flower turf, and Fairy- 

Dashing the brilliant diamonds of the Sun 

From dewy sprays, and Eaglets wings 
Scared from their cloud-veil'd nest by Fancys 
loftier springs ! 

Who breathes long pines in frame and soul. 

Each ardent hope; for Pride and Power still 

The bruised Reed — and had it blood — they'd 

make it bleed. 
The sear'd leaf totters 'neath the rain's cold 

Through ruind Halls fierce storms relentless 

Proud Genius, pining, flits his Meteor eye. 
Want-palsied Age swings on its rotten Crutch, 


(The slippery, ice-form'd Staff, call'd — Charity) 
Which thawing neath his grasp, he sinks Eter- 

Wither that reptile heart — that soul of clay, 
Benumb'd and vacant, which mere Death 

Who'd cringe, and sneak, and beg from day to 

For what? To stare upon his Dungeon walls; 
And count his Bars, as on each shadow crawls 
Along the slime. No — ^A Volcanic Sea 
Bursts the proud heart ! Its smoking fragments 

One blaze of frantic joy — for it is Free ! 
Tis done. — Its ashes scatter through Infinity! 

But Thou dids't leave the world ere tempest- 
A sinking sun-beam sleeping on the wave. 
To Thee bright Hope and Love and Peace were 

Thou sweetest Rain-bow of a summers eve 
Just touching Earth — Thou gently laid thy head — 
on Heaven. 

J. Mills Brown ''Birds Nest" near Cold Spring. 
Putnam County, N. Y. August, 30'^ 1841. 


NEW YORK, OCTOBER 18!^ 1841 
Monday morning, Oct. 18- {1841]. 


I did. not know that you were in the City on 

Saturday, or I would have asked you to call 

at the Surrogate's Office & prove my father's 

signature to his will ; you need not come down 

on purpose to do so, but when you are here, 

I will be much obliged by your doing the 

needful. — 

Y? ever 

H. Brevoort. 


New York, December 28-, 1842.. 


As Carson must have kept you au courant 
with our affairs, & I have but small matters 
to write about, I hope you have been indulgent 
to my silence ever since I received your 
delightful letter from Paris, in which you 
spoke of the pleasure of receiving our dear 
boy in a way that warmed my heart with 
gratitude & affection. Your continued kind- 
ness to him is acknowledged by him, in every 
letter to us, in terms dictated by a grateful & 
kindly heart. By this time you must under- 
stand his nature & character as well as we do 
ourselves, and I hope love him as we love 
him. — He always writes cheerfully & sensibly. 
His last letter was written just after his return 
from the South & in high spirits with [all] 
that has happened & all that he has seen. He 
speaks of his intention of returning home in the 
spring, & of deferring his visit to Italy for the 

present, which I think considerate & proper. 



To travel alone is but a triste plaisir in any 
country. — Besides, he is anxious to be use- 
fully employed in some steady pursuit, if the 
times prove auspicious. In this hope he may 
be disappointed for awhile. But things are 
not at their worst. We have awakened from 
our imaginary prosperity, and gone back to 
1832, if not later. Our experience has [been] 
dearly bought, but it will prove valuable. 
The worse part of the evil is, that the Country 
is overrun with knaves. Confidence amongst 
men is at the lowest ebb — all our monied 
institutions have been defrauded. At this 
moment my mind is suffering from anxiety on 
account of our old & respectable N Y Life & 
Trust C^, which had, as I though[t] weathered 
the storm & proved itself incorruptable. Its 
secretary in whom unlimited confidence was 
placed was dismissed last week, having been 
detected in gambling with lottery tickets, 
wholesale. Although he protested to us that 

the funds of the Company were untouched by 



him, I fear it will prove otherwise, to what 
amount no one can tell until his accounts are 
gone over. — This must be a work of time & 
labor & we have employed assistants to per- 
form it thoroughly. Meanwhile the dividend 
day approaches (10 January) & we can hardly 
get at the true state of affairs so soon ; & if it 
is not declared, our credit will be deeply 
aflEected. My own stock cost me ^23,000; of 
which a large part must be sunk, if my appre- 
hensions prove true. 

In this way, I have lost since the great fire — 
about ^25,000, besides the trouble & anxiety 
which I have suffered in striving to diminish 
it, & disentangle myself from cares which my 
mind is unfitted for & which I heartily detest. 
— These investments in corporate bodies, 
were not of my own seeking; they were made 
for me while I was in Europe. Instead of 
selling out, & pocketing the loss, I have, as 
the world has done, gone on hoping for better 

times, until half is lost. Still there is enough 



left in lots, which although now unavailable, 

will become so, if I can manage to keep them 

longer in my possession. — I am detennined for 

the few years more that it may please God to 

spare me, to cast anchor in a securer haven and 

ride out the storm in peace & contentment. — 

Five years of trouble & anxiety is a horrible 

sacrifice, but yet I have no cause to complain; 

I bear the weight of my three score winters & 

summers lightly & bravely, & am surrounded 

by a family of intelligence & love, such as 

falls to [the] lot of few men, & for which I am 

heartily grateful to God. — 

My wife, as you probably know, has been 

obliged to keep her room two months past. 

Her health is feeble, but by no means alarming 

& I hope will be restored by regimen & quiet 

before long. I think her complaint arises 

from instability of the nervous system — 

particularly the nerves which are connected 

with the stomach. — She desires to be warmly 

remembered to you, & to thank you for your 



paternal kindness to her eldest born. — Our 
old friend M^ Astor has been confined to his 
room, & mostly to his bed, these three months 
past. I saw him yesterday. He was lying in 
his bed, in his parlor, looking feeble & emaci- 
ated, but much recovered. His appetite re- 
mains healthy & his mind as clear & as much 
occupied with old cares, as usual. His years 
are bearing him downward, & probably his 
next, the eightieth, will be his last. He asked, 
as he always does, about you with the liveliest 
interest & in the kindest manner. — Cogswell is 
his prop & comfort. He devotes himself to 
him in a manner which does honor to his heart, 
although his own health is I think very feeble. 
The old gentleman often engages him upon 
serious topics, & seems to derive hope from 
C's rational and pious views of things present 
& to come. His skepticism & shrewdness 
often displays itself, & some times puzzles his 
friend to answer. A few days since, in speak- 
ing about the happiness which Christianity 


NEW YORK, DECEMBER 28*1; 1842 

promises in the world to come, he remarked 
to C, that it always appeared singular to 
his mind that these cheerful & confident 
anticipations were not oftener made the 
subject of ordinary conversations. Men were 
naturally fond of dwelling upon things which 
were expected to give them pleasure, yet the 
change which promised the highest state of 
happiness was rarely spoken of familiarly, 
until it was close at hand. — 

C's money matters with him are now, I 
hear, on a liberal & sure footing. — ^You will 
feel deeply interested in the horrible drama of 
your friend Slidell. The Court of Enquiry has 
just commenced its proceedings & I have a 
strong belief that he will be able to justify his 
acts, and come forth clearly & honorably. 
I am told that he is well prepared with testi- 
mony to prove his imminent danger & neces- 
sity for acting as he did. — Whichever way 
the issue may turn, to him it is a deplorable 




Our friend Capt Jack is in command of 
the yard at Boston — as usual, he has fallen 
upon his feet. He is liked by everyone, has a 
fine house, is well paid & perfectly happy — ■ 
except that he lost a quarter's pay by the late 
explosion of a bank at Charlestown. — Kemble 
is well, & the foundry is much recovered in 
strength by a pipe contract with our Corpora- 
tion — ^but is now at a standstill for work. 
Paulding resides in Hudson Square, hoping 
for the reelection of his friend &c. — My neigh- 
bor March, with whom Mr. Grinnel dined 
lately to meet Webster, is trying to persuade 
him (not the Sec^) to purchase half of my 
garden & build a good house upon it. I have 
not seen M^ G on the subject, but I should 
be pleased to have him & his wife so near us, 
not to speak of the sale of the ground, which 
would be very agreeable too. — You will be 
pleased to hear that the only lawsuit which I 
have ever had, & it was not of my seeking, is 
ended. — My nephew gave in two days before 

VOL. II. 19. 289 


the day of trial, finding the issue desperate, I 
suppose, & we are rid of him after a worid 
of trouble in gathering testimony & not a little 
expense. — He is now the happy owner of five 
lots of ground, which is two more than will 
come to the portion of any of my children, 
who are better entitled to them. — He 
thought, and his knavish lawyers encour- 
aged him to think, that our fears might give 
way to his hopes of extortion; but he has 
the piper to pay, and is happy to dance to 
the old tune. — I suppose Dickens has writ- 
ten to you, & that you have read his book. 
It is just what might have been expected 
from him; but the good people here abuse 
him for not writing what he neither could 
nor wou[l]d write, a dull sensible descrip- 
tion of these United States. The Negro & 
spitting chapters were put in for balances I 
imagine — ^but some of the others are admirable 
& display a warm & sensitive heart. — The little 

woman & her baby — the reflections upon the 


NEW YORK, DECEMBER 28il! 1842 

poor emigrants, are truly admirable & charac- 
teristic. — 

No materials for your projected work have 
appeared here. I hope you have fairly sat 
down to it, and that the subject recommends 
itself to you, as you proceed. — I will not my 
dear Irving say half I feel at our long separa- 
tion. I suppose it will last three years. — Still, 
I hope there will be enough of life left us to 
enjoy each others society when we have the 
happiness to meet again. — 

I shall not write to Carson by this steamer, 

but enclose a letter from his sister Laura. 

You will take care to advise with him about 

the best route to come home — ^but he will 

have time enough to write further to me 

about it. — I am every truly Y? 

Henry Brevoort. 


NEW YORK, OCTOBER 18*^ 1843 

New York, October 18- 1843. 
It is an age my dear Irving since I have been 
gratified with a scrap of remembrance from 
your pen. While Carson remained with you 
I did not feel the want of it so painfully; but 
now that he is away, it becomes indispensable 
to my comfort, and I entreat you to restime 
our ancient interchange of thoughts & kindly 
feelings, as often as it may suit your conven- 
ience. Carson wrote us by the last steamer, 
that he was awaiting your arrival in Paris, 
while, from another source, I learnt you were 
safely quartered with your niece at Versailles, 
several days previous to the date of his letter. 
No doubt you have since met each other, & 
that he has related all his agreeable adventures 
subsequent to his departure from Madrid. 
We are very anxious to see him among us 
again; no doubt much improved by his free 
intercourse with people of the old world, & 
his observation of the remarkable things which 

he has seen. He assures me that he has 


NEW YORK, OCTOBER i8th 1843 

imbibed a little brass, which is a material 
indispensable to his success in this country, 
where impudence is at a high premium. 

Your being able to sustain the fatigues of so 
rough a journey induces me to believe, that 
your health & strength are restored, — but I 
would rather receive a confirmation of it from 
yourself. It may be that you forced yourself 
beyond your strength to obtain the advice of 
Parisian Physicians. — Having just got back 
from the extreme end of Long Is*?, where 
my family still are, & have been since the 
begiiming of July, I have not been able to see 
any of your connections, except y^ nephew 
Pierre. — I have called yesterday & today to 
see Storrow without success, but I shall take 
care to find him in the course of the week. — 

My wife's health, which has long been very 

feeble, is now restored by the fine climate and 

sea bathing of that best of all summer retreats 

L Is^; and my brain is possessed with the 

project of securing to our own exclusive enjoy- 


NEW YORK, OCTOBER 18!^ 1843 

ment some far away nook there, to spend our 
future summers.^-My dear girls have a true 
relish for country life, & would much rather 
roam over the green fields & sea shores of L I 
than mingle with the harlequinade of Broad 
Way— a taste which I know you will commend. 
Indeed, no one has better reason than I have, 
to be thankful for the blessings of wife and 
children who are my comfort & solace through 
weal & woe. — 

My own time for the last two years, has 
been much occupied with the division & settle- 
ment of my good old father's property, which 
is now nearly completed — and my share of it is 
now more welcome than I ever supposed it 
w^ be, owing to the large losses which I have 
sustained within the last three years by previ- 
ous investments in the stocks of our cheating 
monied corporations. I hope to indemnify 
myself for the future by this dear bought ex- 
perience. I am no croaker, but it grieves me 

to say, my dear Irving, that this our native 



land is degenerate & corrupt to the very- 
core. You would not believe the symptoms of 
rottenness which I could point out & establish, 
but which are now apparent — ^political moral 
& social — ^nor am I able to discover any hope 
of amendment; any counteracting principles 
to arrest the downward tendency of all our 
'institutions. It is true — ^you have lived a long 
while amidst these calamities, in a country 
which seems doomed to discord & unhap[p]i- 
ness, and perhaps you might be able to find 
consolation by a comparison which I am not. 
— But let us turn from this subject and gossip 
a little about domestic affairs, & the idle 
topics of the day. Old M^ Astor stills holds 
out, & is better, body & mind, than he was 
before you left us. An ontoward event has 
just happened in his family, which has stirred 
his ire; a thing which always does him good. 
Master Sam W— has married Miss Medora 
Grymes and settled upon her his house in Bond 

Street, which house had been purchased, & 



previously given or settled upon his first wife, 
but by our laws, became his, after her decease. 
— This affair sticks deep into the old gentle- 
man's gizzard. He views it as a sort of 
impeachment of his accustomed sagacity; 
a sort of outwitting & overreaching in the 
art Qf bargaining. Previous to the marriage, 
he sent for the bold Samuel, — ^not to remon- 
strate with him upon the step he was about to 
take, but to warn him, that unless his g g* 
daughter was not withdrawn from the protec- 
tion which he had provided for her, & placed 
in the hands of her grandmother M" W, 
means would be adopted to deprive him of the 
property which he had accidentally acquired. 
To this, Master S bowed submission. Wil- 
liam's family have taken this new alliance 
in great dudgeon, & have resolved never to 
hold intercourse, or to speak to their much 
overrated son in law. — Both parties came in 
collision a few days since, at a grand f6te 

* Great granddaughter. 



champ^tre, given at Highwood, by J G King, 
in honor of his son's marriage — ^but there was 
no recognition, & the A's left the field very 
prematurely to the victorious Sam, who, with 
his wife, were the lions of the day. — ^Another 
rencontre took place upon the occasion much 
more amusing & characteristic. M' Delauny, 
who had been jilted by Sam's Medora, ap- 
proached her with true french nonchalance — 
took both her hands & congratulated her very 
warmly upon the happy event (not of his hav- 
ing been jilted) & clapping his hands upon 
Sam's shoulder, exclaimed Eh Men mon ami 
comment ga va? The Trousseau which he had 
ordered from Paris arrived very opportunely 
before the Marriage, and the jilted man 
wrote a polite note to his rival offering to sell 
him the said Trousseau, which was accepted, 
& the bride was made doubly happy. She 
is said to be a very inoffensive good little girl 
malgr6 her mother — ^possessing very little 

personal attraction, & with an expression & air 



far from comme il faut. Sam, albeit not one 
of the wisest of men, has probably made a silly- 
match — but the resentment of the A's, is, I 
think, carried beyond all just bounds, unless 
there are causes for it unrevealed to this 
pigmy world of ours. — 

Another event is soon to happen which will 
set the aforesaid world agog for awhile. Our 
opposite neighbor has a wife, who as you must 
have heard is — 0, & that wife is blessed with 
a daughter, who is, in the opinion of the afore- 
said world 00. Whether they are, or not 
guilty of the crime ascribed to them they are 
here doomed to oblivion & repentance, never 
to reenter the bosom of Charley King's "good 
society." Finding themselves much genee 
by this proscription, & confiding in the 
liberality of the old world, they are to de- 
part on the I November for Havre, under 
the protection of our worthy fd Jimmy 
Furck, & to pass the winter in Paris. In 

the Spring, the Chevalier Binda & his sig- 



nora, are to escort them to Italy, & watch 
over them. — 

It is a matter of curious speculation to 
imagine what will be their destiny in the land 
of Cavaliers & Priests. They will have plenty 
of money, and will no doubt be disposed to 
accommodate themselves to the state of things 
existing there. — Meanwhile — I hope my most 
worthy & much abused neighbor & old friend, 
may not relent in his purpose of giving 
these babes of grace an unlimited furlough. 
He told me of it himself & I gave him my 
hearty consent. — His brothers had done the 
same. — Kemble is at his Foundry which is 
dividendless. But he & his family get a pretty 
living out of it — so we the stockholders, ought 
to be grateful. Paulding's son is engaged to 
the pretty Miss Pierson. He, Paulding is wait- 
ing the reelection of his fd of Lindenwood;* 
but from present indications, the tide of 
public opinion is adverse to his hopes, & very 

* Lindenwald, the home near Kinderhook of Martin Van Buren. 


flattering to Clay, especially if the scheme 

of nominating Webster as V P, meets with his 

consent, & shall be adopted in convention. 

The little Sage has grown very old, & has 

become as bulbous as our excellent f? Capt 

Jack, who (by the by) is as usual in clover at 

Boston, in command of the Navy Yard at 

Charlestown. Prescott's new book is soon to 

be out. He is a jewel of a fellow, & y' devoted 

admirer & friend. I shall not be obtrusive 

about y^ literary pursuits. Cogswell is now 

well again. Y' favorite Miss Oxenham is on 

furlough in England. M^ Sewal flourishes, 

notwithstanding D^ Williams is or is about 

to be married. The said D- told me a good 

story about the old boy which I am afraid I 

have not room to relate. He consulted the 

D- as to what items of property he might 

conscientiously conceal from assessment. The 

D- thought the Library legacy was a fair 

one for exemption — Oh! said Money-bags, I 

had tought of dat & so he continued to every 



proposition of the Doctor's. At this rate 
the Legacy, if the old man holds out long 
enough will turn out a profitable speculation ! — 

Y- interposition in the late outbreak of 
Madrid has added immensely to your diplo- 
matic fame among your admiring countrymen; 
besides stirring up the ambitions of becoming 
Ministers among y- literary contemporaries 
Bancroft Sparks Cooper &c who are all 
sighing & dying for the honor of represent- 
ing the pomp & dignity of our republic at 
the several Courts of Europe— /or a certain 
consideration. — 

West is well & pretty well employed. He 

is, as we all know a capital fellow — and now 

that I am familiar with all his oddities, I like 

him better than ever. Wier [h]as painted a 

very successful picture for the Capital. It is 

now on exhibition & both in design & execution 

is better than anything except poor Allston's, 

that has yet been painted in the U States. 

We hope a career will open itself to Carson, 



as an architect by & by. Now, unless you 
have the best of excuses pray sit down & write 
me an undiplomatic epistle. I beg to be 
heartily & kindly remembered to my f^ M" 
S. — How you must suffer in missing the I — s? 
They too, / guess. Macready is drawing 
great houses here. Poor Conti is [to] give 
her first concert tomorrow evening. — Now I 
don't care who may read this — Do you? 
Adieu my dear f"? ! 

H. B. 







Among the Brevoort family papers are a 
considerable number of letters' of immediate 
interest in connection with ntimerous phases 
of the Irving-Brevoort correspondence. With 
the selection that has been made from these 
documents, there will be found a few hitherto 
unpublished letters of Irving, from sources 
other than Mr. Kane's collection. 

Even before he had attained the age of 
manhood, Henry Brevoort was engaged in 
occupations far removed from the usual life 
of the young New Yorker of his day. 

We recall how in his first letters to Irving, 
from Mackinac, he is actively engaged in 
the fur trade; and we find him in the missive 
to his parents from Marietta in 1804 giving 
observations of his tour along the Ohio River. 
A letter from L'Herbette, of March, 1805, 

VOL. II. 20. 305 


reveals the fact that Astor made over a 
branch of his fur business to young Brevoort; 
but it is amusing to note that business pros- 
pects did not seem to be very good at that 
time, and L'Herbette (who often figures in 
the Irving-Brevoort correspondence) states 
that had Astor supposed the fur trade would 
turn out so poorly "he would have found out 
some other employment for you this winter." 
However, that it was worth while for Brevoort 
to keep up his connection with Astor is shown 
by the letter from Montreal, in May, 1811, 
wherein Brevoort discusses various business 
matters with "old John Jacob" and annexes 
the table of the harvest of skins obtained 
from Fond du Lac during the years 1809- 
18 10. Well over 50,000 fur-bearing creatures 
■ — beaver, otter, bear, muskrat, mink, raccoon, 
and others — ^gave up their lives in those two 
years; thus silently and unwittingly doing 
their share in increasing one of the historic 

fortunes of our city. Astor was already a 



man of wealth, and in the next letter we reach 

(this time from Irving to Brevoort), he is 

amusingly compared to Croesus. It is also, 

presumably, Astor who is referred to in the 

opening lines of this epistle as the "Great 

Mandarian. " We see Irving at work among 

hardware and cutlery, but resolved to go 

back to his pen, and expressing a preference, 

"by all the martjo-s of Grubstreet, " to starve 

in a garret rather than to continue long 

— ^whatsoever the pecuniary benefit — ^in the 

sordid routine of business. 

Of cotu"se, in Irving's news of New York 

friends, the Hoffmans and the Renwicks take 

first place. Although Matilda Hoffman was 

no longer alive, the home of her parents was 

one of those which Irving frequented most; 

while Mrs. Renwick, "the Bonnie Widow," 

was then, as ever, a magnet for both Irving 

and Brevoort. "The Lads" come in for 

comment; while James Renwick, later the 

dignified professorial brother-in-law of Henry 



Brevoort, here appears as "the agreeable rat- 
tle. " Many young girls are made the subject 
of Irving's lines ; and so, too, the actor Cooper, 
whona Irving calls "old Satan" and who at 
this time was paying devoted attention to the 
charming Mary Fairlie whom he later married. 
After much talk of the theatre, of Cooke and 
of Cooper in the parts of Othello and lago and 
in other plays, Irving writes of his satiety with 
city life, dwelling on the "worldly thoughts 
and cares" that have rendered him weary of 
company "and dissipation"; he longs to be 
with Brevoort in "the silent solitudes of our 
Savage country," where he "could sit for 
hours and muse deHciously on the borders of 
one of our vast lakes. ' ' Yet it is worth noting 
that while he was restless and discontented, 
he did not for a moment lapse into melancholy 
or ill humor, but remained confident that he 
wovild soon turn his abilities to effect, and 
compensate for. this "transient & temporary 

prodigality of life & talent. " 

308 , 


A few weeks later, in June, 1811, Irving 
again writes to Brevoort in much the same 
vein. He begins merrily enough with an 
account of their friend Gouvemeiu* Kemble's 
"long and boisterous voyage in an old leaky 
hulk of a british ship," and with somewhat 
racy gossip concerning his brother Peter, of 
whom Irving says "He is a 'Dam rascal' and 
there's an end of it;" but soon he reverts to 
the topic of his previous letter — that in- 
dolence of mind which had resulted from too 
much social pleasure — and looks forward to 
" rugged toil, fierce disputation, wrangling 
controversy" — anything which shall again 
call forth his mental energies. 

The next letter is from Brevoort to his uncle, 
John Whetten, whom he confidentially ad- 
vises to refrain from becoming a stockholder 
in Astor's fur company until business pro- 
spects improve. Here a reference to the 
seizure by the English of a ship carrying a 

cargo of peltries brings forward those acts 



of maritime aggression that were to culminate 
in the War of 1812. The letter concludes with 
affectionate messages to "the good old people 
in the Bowery," the "Bowery" being the 
name given to the Brevoort homestead. 

All the manuscripts that have appeared in 
the preceding pages of these volumes are 
documents hitherto unpublished; but the 
next letter from Walter Scott to Brevoort is 
one that has already found its way into print. 
A document of historic significance in our 
literature, it is included here because of its 
emphatic importance in. connection with the 
Irving-Brevoort correspondence. Scott mis- 
spells Irving's name, using indeed the form — 
Irvine — of the Scottish forbears of the Irving 
family in America. Scott requests Brevoort 
to send him further writings of Irving's, 
fearing, as he says, that he may chance never 
to hear of them otherwise. The Knickerbocker's 
History of New York, which so amused Walter 

Scott, had, of course, a great vogue in America, 



but local New York history did not interest 
the foreign public of that day, and it was not 
until 1 8 19, the date of the publication of the 
Sketch Book, that Irving's fame was estab- 
lished abroad. 

Brevoort, when writing to Irving on June 
24th, 18 13, enclosed Scott's letter in praise of 
Knickerbocker's History. Irving then must 
have forwarded it to his brother Ebenezer, in 
the possession of whose family the letter 
remained vmtil in 1833 Ebenezer's son, Pierre 
Paris Irving, returned it to Brevoort with the 
message that shall be fotind further on in 
these pages. This Pierre Irving must not 
be confused with Washington's other nephew 
Pierre, his literary executor and the editor of 
Irving's Life and Letters. Pierre Paris, how- 
ever, also showed the literary bent charac- 
teristic of so many of the Irvings, and as a 
boy of eighteen had been a contributor to a 
literary periodical aptly and prophetically 

entitled The Fly, its life terminating after the 



brief period of five issues. Pierre later became 
a clergyman ; and one surmises that compunc- 
tions of a moral nature led him, after for ten 
years retaining Scott's letter rescued from his 
father's garret, ta return this precious docu- 
ment to Henry Brevoort. 

The friendship with Walter Scott was the 
notable incident of Brevoort's early travels in 
Europe, but certainly Brevoort's most amus- 
ing hours must have been spent in the perusal 
of the long letters sent to him from America 
by his little sister Margaret, who figures so 
frequently in the correspondence with Irving, 
and who was later to become the wife of 
Professor James Renwick. From some of 
these charming letters of the little girl, who 
regarded her oldest brother with affection 
akin to adoration, we have chosen (with the 
gracious permission of Mrs. Robert Sedgwick) 
a few excerpts of the years 1812 and 181 3. 
Quaint little nuggets they are ! In the first is a 

description of a party at Ward's Island, where 



Irving romped with the children and teased 


"Now my dear Brother I must tell you of 

our yesterdays party, at wards Island! you 

will laugh and shake in such a manner, if you 

can make out to understand my blundering 

description, this party, you must know, was 

given by old judge Benson, he particularly 

invited a number of ladies and Gentlemen, 

my conseguencial self included, to tea there, of 

course we all went highly delighted, and 

determined, to enjoy ourselves as much as 

possible, and so we did, Isabella and myself 

did not behave exactly as the rest did, for 

the sage Mr. Irving was of our party, and we 

cosidered otirselves in some measure, as in 

the presence of a grand Inquisitor, you know 

he detests all kinds of romping, as well as 

your literary self, he is the meekest man, I 

ever knew, he is the very counterpart of 

Moses himself— h& thinks no more of himself, 

than the grand sulton of the East thinks of 



himself. My dear Brother I am only in 

Later we find an amusing portrait of old 
Henry Brevoort, with his passion for all the 
animals that he kept in his "ark" on Broad- 
way; "quite happy, save now and then a 
cloud of care passes over his face when he 
thinks of the fate of his country. " But when 
the American navy gives a good account of 
itself, another letter of Margaret's shows us 
how jubilant is the "venerable father." 

"Behold me then seated at my bedroom 
window in the second story of the ark, with a 
huge earthen inkstand before me, and two 
old goose quils, I am determined not to stop 
until they are both worn out. 

"You will find but little alteration at your 
return he stoops a little more, and his hair is 
a little whiter, his nose is almost well and he 
is in perfect health, and quite happy, save 
now and then, a cloud of care passes over his 

face, when he thinks of the fate of his country ; 



he says things don't go on as they should 
something is wrong at the head, and he fears 
we are in a bad way, he dont understand these 
new fangled doings, our government is made 
up of upstarts, whose heads are as empty as 
calabashes, people dont do as they used to in 
old times &c &c &c. His passion for birds 
is as great as ever, he has had very bad luck 
with the canaries, our yard is filled with 

pidgeons, ducks, geese, fowls, goslings, pea- 
cocks, pigs &c &c &c. — 

"Mrs. Renwick sent the coach out for me 
the day before yesterday to come in to a little 
tea drinking; yesterday afternoon she brought 
me out with all the letters, her family, the 
Rhinelanders and W Irving drank tea with us, 
it would have done your heart good to see 
what a happy set we were. — 

"We have got a charming little neighbour- 
hood there's Mrs Hoffman behind us and 
Mrs Talman before us (she has moved into 

Mr Minthoms new home) we are all delighted 



with each other Mrs H is one of the most 
charming little women I almost ever met with, 
she and my good Mother are quite chosen 
friends, I find so many inducements to stay 
in the country that I very rarely go to town, 
perhaps you will scarcely credit me when I 
tell you I had not been there in a month before 
Mrs R sent for me; so you see I have grown 
quite domestic and shall want no jewels to 
decorate myself with, in the remainder of Mr 
Brevoorts rural shades. — 

"Dear Mrs Ren wick, what shall I say of her? 

she is everything that's good and amiable, 

my letters are never half read or enjoyed until 

she reads them with me she almost jtimps for 

joy whenever we get one from you & really 

seems to feel the same satisfaction that an 

affectionate mother would who was blessed 

with such a son; When Uncle W gets one he 

gives some part of it to- Mi^ Irving from him it 

goes to Mrs Renwick from her to me and then 



to the owner mine go the rounds as regularly. 
I was at Mrs R. when I received your last to 
Father & Mother, I absolutely cotild scarcely 
get sight of it there was such fighting, &, 
boxing, (I would have given any thing had 
you been behind the curtain) there was Mr 
Irving flourishing about with his cane banging 
Isabella and myself as if we had been two 
little sticks and not Miss R and Miss B 
while we are fighting who shall read first 
Mrs R finds some snug comer where she sits 
and reads the whole letter. " 

"I suppose dame fame has informed you of 
the wondrous achievements of our infant 
and galant navy as its called, my dear Father 
is quite delighted, he hired a boat the other 
day for the express purpose of going on board 
the Macidonian, never did Alexander retiirn 
more triumphantly from his conquests than 
did our venerable Father, bearing in his hand 

an immense piece of British oak, which is 



exhibited on our chimney piece, for the in- 
spection of the curious; all of his very great 
friends are favored with small splinters, as a 
mark of great distinction. " 

From still another letter is chosen the 
passage in which the young girl writes on the 
evil of the world, and observes that if the dis- 
turbers of peace were as anxious to do good as 
they are eager to torment one another, "what 
a very happy world this would be. " In those 
days, as in these, the censor broke in upon the 
privacy of correspondence; but Margaret sees 
the necessity of restraining her abuse of 
President Madison and the rulers of England 
and France (whom she familiarly calls Jim, 
George, and Bony), lest her letter be made 
the subject of investigation by perhaps the 
British Parliament itself. 

"I am almost afraid to say anything, now 

that I have began, they tell me it is more thatl 



probable that my letter will be opened; I 
heartily wish, all the disturbers of the peace 
were happily lodged in that precious planet, 
(satum) which seems to be now, reigning with 
peculiar influence; infusing its malignant rays 
into the hearts of men; inciting them to such 
dreadful cruelties, that it makes me shudder 
even to hear them; their minds are devoted 
to the study of tormenting each other, and 
in this laudable and praiseworthy pursuit 
they are most indefatigable; (If they were as 
anxious to do good what a very happy world 
this would be; thanks to the beneficent giver 
of all good! we, do, now and then, see an ex- 
ample of this kind ! to show us just what man 
shovild be!) We must endeavour to put all 
the blame upon the bad planet, for the honor 
of human nature; I hope this apology will 
suffice for their highmightynesses — I should be 
sorry if they were to take it into their heads 
to be in great dudgeon, and throw my poor 

little letter in the fire; for only consider my 



dear Brother, what an incalctilable loss it 
would be; I believe I must condemn myself 
to the great and almost impracticable punish- 
ment of holding my tounge, for the sake of 
preser[v]ing this most precious epistle, and 
indeed my Brother when one considers what a 
bitter mouthfvill it is to restrain ones self 
from abusing these worthy nalers and poten- 
tates of the earth, (Jim George and Bony) 
it would not be considered as an inconsider- 
able instance of self denial even But Miss Bren- 
tons school. I veryly believe I should get the 
laughing hysterics were I ever to see or hear of 
the british parliaments speculating upon the 
contents of a little girls letter, to see if they 
could discover any thing like /^'ea^ow in it. ..." 
Irving was at this time occupying the 

lodgings of Brevoort whom he calls his absent 
"wife," as Margaret's jesting lines record: 

"Mr Irving has grown quite a beauty, I 

told him so the other day at our house, think- 



ing it would have a tendency to make him 
very civil but I was mistaken, he is not a bit 
better than before, his face is not clouded 
with care as formerly he says he would be 
perfectly happy if his wife was here; who do 
you think that is? a wandering poet, — ^who 
was formerly seen in America, but he has 
taken his departiore to a more congenial clime, 
in order to perfect himself in his profession; 
ther's great suspicions entertained of him here, 
we actually hear he was to be married to 
some great scotch lass, this report has made 
the afore said husband extremely tmeasy, 
and I really heard his mother say she would 
turn the vagrant out of doors if he offered to 
bring any of his high cheek bones here, — 
so if you should chance to meet with him in 
your travels, do for humanity's sake give the 
poor fellow a gentle hint respecting home 

The glimpses that Margaret gives us of 
some of the characters in the Irving-Brevoort 

VOL. II. 21. 321 


correspondence are, as we have seen, full of 
little personal touches that could have been 
possible only to a girl of quick discernment 
and rare wit; but perhaps for us of the great 
city that extends so many miles along the 
Hudson, the most striking paragraph is the 
one wherein Margaret writes, "I find so many 
inducements to stay in the country that I very 
rarely go to town." — The " country " was 
Eleventh Street and Broadway ! 

On the outside of one of these letters from 
Margaret — one addressed to Henry Brevoort 
at Birmingham, in the care of Irving's brother- 
in-law, Henry Van Wart, — Brevoort wrote the 
following verses htimorously indicative of 
British feeling at the threats of Napoleon: 

Says Bony to Jonney I'll soon be at Dover 
Says Jonney to Bony that's doubted by some 
Says Bony but what if I really come over, 
Says Jonney then really you'U be overcome. 

John Howard Payne next engages our 

attention with some lines written in 1813 



introducing to Brevoort the actor Charles 
Kemble, brother of John Philip Kemble and 
Mrs. Siddons, and himself famous as actor, 
dramatic reader, and theatrical manager. 
Payne was intimate with both Irving and 
Brevoort, as he was indeed with many other 
noted men,' such as Coleridge and -Charles 
Lamb. He and Brevoort were bom in the 
same year, and their interest in the stage was 
long a bond between them; while with Irving, 
Payne has various points of biographical 
similarity in that both these New York 
authors were clerks in early life, and both 
towards the end of their careers received 
appointments from the United States Govern- 
ment in recognition of their services to litera- 
tvire. But while Irving is remembered for 
many of his works, John Howard Payne, 
whose writings are perhaps even more volumi- 
nous, would long ago have been forgotten had 
it not been for his lyric of "Home, Sweet 

Home," a song still the possession of myriads 



of persons of whom perhaps not a handful is 
aware of the name of the play (Clari, or the 
Maid of Milan) in which these cherished 
verses originally appeared. 

Another letter relating to Irving's and 
Brevoort's interest in matters of the theatre 
is from a young actress with whom, it would 
seem, Brevoort did not, after his return from 
England to America, care to maintain a 
correspondence. This Miss Booth was a 
member of the same company as Junius 
Brutus Booth, and is remembered in annals 
of the stage mainly because of her request 
that the great actor, who was Edwin Booth's 
father, should add an "e" to his name, lest 
she and he be thought to belong to the same 

The next three letters carry us from theatri- 
cal affairs to Brevoort's more intense interest 
in the literary career of his friend. A brief 
note from Washington Irving, dated London, 
Sept. 2 1st, 1 8 19, has to do with the Sketch 



Book, which is again the topic of the two 
letters written shortly after this date by 
Ebenezer Irving to Brevoort. In these, we 
have further evidence of the collaboration of 
Irving's friend and Irving's brother in connec- 
tion with furthering the publication and 
success of the various numbers of the Sketch 
Book. From the point of view of the critic, 
the most noteworthy lines that here call for 
comment are those in which Ebenezer ex- 
presses his doubt at the reception of the 
Legend of Sleepy Holloiv — "a tale which al- 
though a pretty thing and neatly told is still 
a tale." Ebenezer surmises that nine out of 
every ten of the female readers will be pleased 
with it; but he himself finds more to praise 
in Irving's articles The Mutability of Litera- 
ture and John Bull. We recall, however, that 
Brevoort, with more perspicacity and perhaps 
a deeper feeling for sentiment and a better 
sense of humor, realized at once that the 

Legend of Sleepy Hollow was one of the best 



emanations from Irving' s pen ; a judgment that 
posterity has effectively confirmed. 

The letters of Brevoort give many indica- 
tions of his interest in science, drama, and 
literature, as well as in business and politics; 
and his directorship in the National Academy 
of Arts is one of numerous indications that 
he participated in this realm also of the activi- 
ties of his time. This participation is shown in 
a practical and generous aspect in financial aid 
extended to Rembrandt Peale. In the letters 
of 1824 between Brevoort and Peale there is 
considerable interesting comment not alone 
on Peale's proposed portrait of George Wash- 
ington, but also on the famous portraits by 
Stuart, Pine, and Brevoort's friend, John 
Tnunbull. Peale was of the opinion that his 
own portrait of Washington was a far more 
faithfiol piece of work than Stuart's, which 
"was taken after the mouth of the General 
had been distorted by the rude hands of the 

dentist. " 



Brevoort's influence as a patron of art was 
invoked not alone directly by Rembrandt 
Peale in connection with national as well as 
private commissions 'for paintings, but was 
called into requisition in other ways, as, for 
instance, when Vanderlyn, after receiving a 
payment in advance for a full -length portrait 
of Andrew Jackson, took his own time about 
the completion of the work. To Henry 
Brevoort, James Hamilton, to whom Jackson 
had offered the secretaryship of war, and who 
later was Governor of South Carolina, appeals, 
confident that Brevoort, if anyone, can stir 
the sluggish brush of the recalcitrant artist. 
It was Vanderlyn, we recall, who made the 
most dehghtful portrait of Irving as a young 

People were frequently writing to Brevoort 
on all manner of topics. From Robert Emmet, 
the nephew of the great Irish patriot, and him- 
self a lawyer of high rank, there is a very witty 

letter in which he asks Brevoort for sntiff 



and a novel to while away, the teditun 
of influenza. Charles Carroll of CarroUton 
requests him to serve as his proxy in financial 
affairs. James Kent writes to Brevoort con- 
cerning his famous Commentaries, a work so 
popular that the first four editions of 10,000 
copies were sold at nine dollars a copy, — ^the 
most remunerative American book of its time. 
Nor is it alone statesmen, authors, artists, and 
actors whose letters attest the important civic 
position of Brevoort, for here too we meet with 
a communication from General Winfield Scott, 
who desires Brevoort to interest himself in a 
young captain, Alfred Mordecai, who was 
graduated from West Point at the head of his 
class. The interest shown in him by General 
Scott, Mordecai was later to justify not only 
as an author on military subjects but as a 
member of important military commissions, 
especially in the Crimea; his observations in 
connection with that commission being pub- 
lished by order of Congress. 



A letter from Peter Irving to Brevoort, 
written at Rouen, in 1828, recalls the long 
friendship between these two men and their 
travels in Europe fifteen years earlier; while 
a letter from James Fenimore Cooper, written 
at Paris in 1831, in which Cooper seeks to 
arrange an introduction to the Marquis de 
Marbois, is an especially interesting missive, 
not alone because of the evidence it adduces 
of the social position abroad of Washington 
Irving's only American rival in contemporary 
literature, but also because of the picture it 
gives of Marbois, who was the Secretary of the 
French Legation at Washington during the 
Revolution, and who figures again in American 
history on account of his appointment by 
Napoleon to act as the chief agent in the 
cession of Louisiana to the United States. 
The Marquis, in spite of his venerable age 
in 1 83 1, seems to have retained the liveli- 
ness of youth to such an extent that in styl- 
ing Lafayette "the Patron of Americans in 



Paris" he proceeds to call himself the "vice 

During this stay in France, Brevoort kept 
up a constant correspondence with his parents, 
and from these family letters the one chosen 
for publication in the following pages has been 
selected because of its relation to Brevoort's 
acquisition of property on which to this day 
stands the house that he was later to erect at 
24 Fifth Avenue, the first private residence in 
that now greatest of residential streets. It 
was in this old mansion that the first elaborate 
costume ball ever took place in our city, and 
within its walls Washington Irving and many 
other well-known authors were honored guests. 

But of all the letters written from France, 
the one which will appeal most to the student 
of American history is the missive addressed 
by George Washington Lafayette to Henry 
Brevoort and the other members of the Ameri- 
can committee who had voiced on the death of 

General Lafayette the sympathy of American 



friends and admirers. The devotion of 

America to the great statesman who had 

espoused the Revolutionary cause with all the 

chivalry of youth was more intense than has 

ever been shown to any other foreigner, and 

far exceeded the gratitude of France for the 

many services rendered to his own country 

by that truly noble man; and it may well be 

believed that Lafayette's son was not merely 

indulging in the characteristic courtesy of the 

French language when he wrote : " Gentlemen, 

your sympathy softens our affliction and 

spreads a salutary bahn on otir grief -shattered 


From Paris also, eight years later, in 1834, 

was written an important letter of Washington 

Irving, of which excerpts have already been 

published, but which now for the first time 

appears in its entirety, — a. letter written when 

Irving was on his way to Madrid as Minister 

to Spain. Henrj'- Brevoort's oldest son, 

Carson, was with him as attach6, and through- 



out the letter play the sentiments of Irving 's 
devotion both to his old friend and his old 
friend's son. 

Two more missives bring us to the end of 
these manuscripts — ^notes that are included on 
account of their decided local interest. The 
first of these, dated April 24th, 1843, is the 
communication of the Committee appointed 
by the Vestry of Grace Church, in which 
Brevoort is asked to set a price on a portion of 
the old Brevoort farm on Broadway. Bre- 
voort in answer names $35,000, but stipulates 
that the heirs of his father's estate shall be 
held "harmless from any assessment" in case 
Eleventh Street "should hereafter be opened 
from Broad Way to the Bowery." The 
transaction was concluded, and Grace Church 
(whose architect was James Renwick, son of 
Margaret Brevoort) still firmly retains its 
place amid the swift eddies of those com- 
mercial thoroughfares ; its lawns, and trees and 

hedges a lyric note amid the strident noises of 



their svirrotmdings. For those of us who have 
been brought by the letters of Brevoort and 
of Irving into touch with the olden days, this 
little green oasis of the garden of Grace Church 
has that inefifable charm which is the inter- 
mingling of the present and the past. Here 
young Margaret rejoiced in the "shady groves " 
of the country; and here old Henry Brevoort 
stood fovir-square, deaf to importunities and 
threats, resolved that no street shotild cut 
past his home; as, indeed, none has, even to 
these very times. And here, gazing over the 
green hedge that rtms along the Broadway 
fence, you shall see, of a summer's day, the 
magnolias shedding their pink blossoms on 
the little lawns, and, it may be, note a robin 
as he alights on the old svm-dial, to preen his 
crimson breast. 

G. S. H. 



It will be observed that in the foregoing "Introductory 
Notes" there are references to a few letters from Irving to 
Brevoort. These MSS. , discovered after the original pub- 
lication of the Irving side of the correspondence between 
these two friends, were included in the first issue of the 
Brevoort papers; but it has been deemed preferable, in the 
present editions, to place these few Irving epistles in their 
proper sequence in the Irving series. It has not, how- 
ever, seemed necessary to effect any changes that might 
break in upon the continuity of Mr. Hellman's "Intro- 
ductory Notes"; all the more so, as there will presumably 
be few readers of either volume who will not have the 
companion work upon their shelves. 









Marietta, February f- 1804. 

MY DEAR parents: — 

I cannot omit this opportunity of informing 
you I am thus far in safety. — My journey was 
rather disagreeable owing to tempestuous 
weather. I cannot speak with precision of 
what may occtir to my benefit, but I trust my 
trouble will be attended to with all the success 
I contemplated. — M- Gilhnan the person with 
whom I am connected resides here. — I am 
well pleased with him, and believe he will be 
very serviceable. — In making this tovir I may 
not reap much actual benefit, but I shall 
certainly form such connections, as will ul- 
timately prove very advantageous. — Inform 
M" Whetten that I saw Gen? Putnam & a 

VOL. II. 22. 337 


Lawyer Putnam, who remember her with 
pleasure and speak in high terms of her many 
patriotick acts. — I have neither time nor 
inclination to make any remarks on the coun- 
try through which I have passed, in fact it 
affords nothing worthy of observation. — The 
Country along the Ohio River is settling very 
fast — ^and promises in a few years to become 
a place of great importance. — A number of 
vessels are built annually along the River, and 
despatched with the produce of the Cotmtry to 
different parts of the globe. — This business 
is of infinate advantage to its inhabitants — 
Hemp is raised in considerable quantities, 
amply stifficient for the rigging of their vessels. 
— Coal is found in all parts of the country in 
inexaustible quantities. — 

I suppose you have heard nothing from Bill, 
poor fellow I shall not have the pleasure of 
seeing him this Spring. — I cannot possibly 
say when I shall have the pleasure of seeing 

you, probably not before August next — I 



trust then to meet you all in perfect health. — 
May God preserve you untill then and long 
after. I hope the Little ones are well — ^re- 
member me to my bowery acquaintances — 
and believe me to be most affectionately Your 
Henry Brevoort, Jr. 
I beg you will excuse this scroll — it is 
scarcely intelligable, but time wiU not permit 
me to copy it — so take it as with all its blots 
and scratches. — It's probable you will not 
hear from me for some time as the mails in 
this country are very irregular. 

Adieu! — 


NEW YORK, MARCH 6^ 1805 

New York, March 6~ 1803. 
sir: — 

The desire I had of being able to give you 
some agreeable infonnation has caus'd me to 
postpone writing to you longer than I should 
have wish'd. It is but a few days ago that 
M' Astor has positively wrote to some of his 
friends that he has made over his fur business 
to you, advising them however that if they 
chose to send any skins down he will be glad 
to buy them for your account. Since your 
departure we have had nothing at all to do 
in that way: not so much as a dozen of skins 
have as yet been brought to the store. 

We all heartily wish you may meet with 

better luck than you had in the begin[n]ing of 

your journey, and that some good business may 

compensate the fatigues you have undergone. 

this wish has often engross'd our conversation 

during the cold weather which we experienc'd 

as, by what wc felt, we form'd an idea of what 

you had to encounter. M- A. was not the 


NEW YORK, MARCH 6*1! 1805 

last to think of you on those occasions, and 
after having receiv'd the letters in which you 
mentioned that skins were scarce & their 
price high, he told me several times that had 
he suppos'd that the fur business tum'd out 
so poorly, he would have found out some other 
employment for you this winter. 

The truth is that the prospect is not very 
favorable at present. All the accounts of 
sale which he received from London or Am- 
sterdam state some loss, he has already 
advis'd you of it & mention'd his opinion 
as to the prices he thinks you can safely 
pay, so that I have nothing to add on the 

I receiv'd lately a small invoice of goods 
from my friends which were directed to M' A 
— conformable to the liber[t]y he gave me last 
summer; he told me since that if in the future 
they send me some more Goods, they must 
consign them direct to you & I wrote to my 

friends accordingly. 


NEW YORK, MARCH 6«l 1805 

In hopes of receiving news that you enjoy 
good health & spirits, I am 

With Consideration, 

Your humble serv* 

P. Lherbette. 
H. Brevoort, Jr., Esq. 


MONTREAL, MAY 9!!! 181 1 

Montreal, May g- 1811. 

DEAR sir: — 

M' Gillespie has fixed our departure on the 
morning of the 16 instant — Mr. Pothier is 
to remain in Montreal until the goods from 
England arrive & are forwarded to S* Josephs, 
which will probably not take place much before 
the 20 June. — 

i The Gentlemen were sorry to learn that no 
permission had yet been granted by the Secy 
of the Treasury to admit the goods to entry. 
I understand that they are to meet and consult 
on that and other subjects this day. — 

If a favoiwable change should occur & in- 
telUgence thereof can be transmitted to St. 
Josephs by the 20th of August, the Agents are 
of opinion, that there would still be sufficient 
time; but should nothing be obtained by that 
time they will wait tmtil the 5 or 10 Sept & 
then return. — 

If orders are not rec^ at St. Joseph's by 

the 5 of August, I wish you inform me whether 


MONTREAL, MAY 9«} 1811 

you are of opinion that there is an absolute 
necessity that I should remain there longer; 
I am rather anxious on that subject, having 
made no arrangements for my absence from 
N York longer than the i September. — 

Letters have been this day received by the 
N W* from M'. M?Gillivray, which state that 
the Beaver sale has been deferred & that after 
it had taken place he intended returning via 
N York.— 

As far as I can gather without making 
known the object of my intentions, the Mkf 
Cy will either sell at Mackinack or consign 
these furs to some person in New York for 
sale: — they will all arrive from the interiour 
within the month of July, so that, that part 
of my business can be early dispatched. — 

Mess" Reed & Clark were both disapointed 
at not hearing from you. — M^ R will take 
passage with Mr. Pothier. 

If you send a message to Mk — ^he ought not 

♦ North West Company. t Mackinack. 


MONTREAL, MAY 9!^ 181 1 

to travel by way of the Lakes, as the uncer- 
tainty of getting passage accross Erie & Huron 
would cause great delay. 

M- Pothier will probably be the last light 
canoe from Montreal, & the quickest convey- 
ance. — 

I hope you have not omitted to transmit y- 
draft to M- Bleakley on my account. — 
I am, D- Sir, 

Y'. Most Obt. 

Henry Brevoort, Jr. 

I annex for y- information (if you have not 
received it before) the returns from Fond du 
Lac for 1809 & 1810. — 



9«} 1811 











3555— short 








Brown & Silver 

Short 8170 











John Jacob Astor, Esq. 
. New York. 


ST. JOSEPH'S, JUNE 25^^ 181 1 

St. Joseph's, June 25- 1811. 

MY DEAR sir: — 

I have just written a long epistle to M' 
Astor to whom I refer you for particulars, not 
having time to repeat them. — 

The aspect of the Fur Company's affairs, 
at present looks as unfavourable as is possible; 
& as M- A in one of his Letters to me intimates 
that before my return you are likely to become 
a stockholder, I now advise you by all means 
to wait my return before you are persuaded 
to take a single step. — This of course is only 
between ourselves. — 

I am very anxious respecting my affairs in 
New York, particularly as I entertain not the 
most distant hope of being actively employed in 
behalf of the Company — ^by reason of the son- 
inlaw — and consequently shall return as soon 
as I can, without forfeiting my engagements. — 

I hope & trust you will meet no particular 
obstruction — MT A expresses his willingness to 

assist in case of need. — 


ST. JOSEPH'S, JUNE 25^^ 181 1 

I have heard nothing from the Capt from 
N York. Mr M^Gillivray informs me that he 
called on Capt Ward in London, and as it was 
a matter of importance that so large a parcel 
of Peltries should be sent out of the English 
Market, he offered his influence to obtain the 
Vessels liberation, but on learning the circum- 
stances of her capture, he found it impossible 
to render him the least assistance. 

I shall confidently look for a letter from you 
at Montreal by the 20 August, when it is 
probable I may be there. 

Remember me affecy to the family & to the 
good old people in the Bowery. 
I am, My D? Uncle, 
Y^ Most Affec. f^ 

H. Brevoort, Jr. 
Mr. John Whetten 
New York. 



Abbotsford, April 23- 18 13. 

MY DEAR sir: — 

I beg you to accept my best thanks for the 

uncommon degree of entertainment which I 

have received from the most excellently 

jocose history of New York. I am sensible 

that as a stranger to American parties and 

politics I must lose much of the concealed 

satire of the piece but I must own that looking 

at the simple and obvious meaning only I have 

never read any thing so closely resembling the 

stile of Dean Swift as the annals of Diedriech 

Knickerbocker I have been employed these 

few evenings in reading them aloud to M" 

S. & two ladies who are our guests and our 

sides have been absolutely sore with laughing, 

I think too there are passages which indicate 

that the author possesses powers of a different 

kind & has some touches which remind me 

much of Sterne. I beg you will have the 

kindness to let me know when M- Irvine takes 

pen in hand again for assuredly I shall expect 



a very great treat which I may chance never 
to hear of but through your kindness. 
Believe me Dear Sir 

Your obliged htmible serv- 

Walter Scott 
H. Brevoort, Esq. 


Liverpool, Sept. 12-, 18 13. 

MY DEAR sir: — 

This will be handed you by M- Charles 
Kemble, concerning whose plans I have 
already written you. The professional repu- 
tation of M' Kemble will supercede anything 
I can say on that subject, but of those high 
personal excellencies which elevate him far 
above the mass {not merely of actors hut) of 
men, I have reason to speak with fervency 
and decision. You will confer a favor on me 
by seconding the view of M^ Kemble in 
America, with your influence & advice. 
BeHeve me, 
Dear Sir 

Ever truly Yrs 
John Howard Payne. 
H. Brevoort, Esq. 


LONDON, JUNE 2^ 1816 

London, June 2- 1816. 

MY DEAR sir: — 

Mt Bibby's return to New York affords 
me an opportunity of once again addressing 
you, yet I can hardly persuade myself to it, — • 
since the idea of being considered troublesome 
is strongly impressed on my mind, for (if I 
recollect) this is the second or third time I 
have had the honour of writing you, without 
being favour'd with your reply. Well? — I 
positively do flatter myself that you will for- 
give the intrusion — and since I have the prom- 
ise of so able a pleader as M' Bibby, I cannot 
I am sure fail of obtaining your pardon. In- 
deed we feel gratified to M' Washington 
Irving for his introduction to M- Bibby — ^who 
we have found a most amiable young man, and 
I regret to think that our managers have not 
acted with more liberality to him than they 
have, for he has displayed a great deal of merit 
in his Pertinax & Shylock, and received every 

applause that could be bestow'd; but I need 


LONDON, JUNE 24 1816 

not tell you how much it rests in the power of 
managers to forward the views of a performer, 
— ^they did not exert themselves to put M- 
Bibby forward, — but I trust his talent will be 
duly appreciated among his friends on the 
other side of the water. We shall be all 
anxiety to learn. 

London is likely to be more gay this season 
than for many years past, on account of the 
Royal Marriage. I wish you could have 
enjoy'd the treat of M" Siddons' acting the 
other night, the shades of all men of taste I 
favoured taking a peep at this queen of 
Tragedy. Miss O'Neill loses nothing in at- 
traction, but is rather improved in her acting 
— ^if improvement is possible — than otherwise. 
I do not doubt but M" Barnes will prove a 
great acquisition to the New York Theatric 

I must now present Mr. Naime's remem- 
brance to you — ^with those of my family — ^who 
unite with me in requesting that you will 

VOL. II. — 23. 353 

LONDON, JUNE 2^ 1816 

oblige us with a few lines when opportunity 
And now I must subscribe myself (in haste) 
Y- sincere friend 

S. A. Booth. 

May I request you to offer my regards to 
all I have the happiness to know. But I 
beg most particularly to be remember'd to 
M- Kemble and M- Swart (wout). I hear he 
is now perfectly happy. I have not heard a 
word from M' W — Irving for an age past, 
but I hear he is well, and I rejoice to say 
M' P — Irving is again in possession of health. 


LONG BRANCH, SEPT. 28* 1819 
Long Branch, Sept. 28- j8ig. 


With this I forward you a packet from 
Wash" inclosed to me; it contains but one 
article and whether any other has been sent 
or not I am ignorant. His letter to me ac- 
companying this parcel contains but two lines, 
merely requesting me to hand it to you — ^he 
has however no doubt written to you respect- 
ing it. 

The success of the "Sketch Book" is ex- 
tremely gratifying. I imderstand that the 
i^.* No. is off and that you are about putting 
a 2'? edition to press. Jn° T. says that you 
had an idea of selling it to Wiley — for ^500 — . 
I think it rather low if the editions usually 
average a profit of $600 — ^As the work has 
taken a handsome run and is a favorite, I am 
inclined to believe that a choice of purchasers 
can be made — ^the best in every considerable 
place would willingly bargain for sufficient 

to supply their particular market under the 


LONG BRANCH, SEPT'. 28!^ 1819 

agreement that you sell to no one else there, 

I think by some such arrangement good men 

may be commanded in every place without 

risque of loss — ^perhaps if those persons were 

written to before putting an edition to press, 

requesting to know what ntimber they would 

respectively wish mentioning that no more 

than the whole number thus ordered would be 

printed it might be the means of__taking off 

a larger number at once and when another 

edition should be called for the same method 

might be pursued. 

I have not understood whether the quantity 

of the 2^ & 3^ Nos. printed was larger than the 

i^ but I should suppose that the 1°* being 

all off already, the quantity of the succeeding 

nimibers might be made up to what we first 

thought of (4000) — if it should be thought 

proper that the number in each edition should 

be the same that can be easily complied with 

by adding to the title page of one half — 

"Second Edition" and selling them last. 


LONG BRANCH, SEPT. 28th 1819 

My suggestions as to mode of putting ofiE the 
work arise from my anxiety of making the 
most of it for Wash. I have no expectation of 
being in New York until the alarm of fever 
subsides when I shall be very happy in doing 
any thing to assist you in these matters, mean 
while should you wish anything from me, a 
letter, put on board the Steam boat Franklin 
for Shrewsbtiry directed to me at " Capt. War- 
dell's Long branch," will reach me. I write 
in haste but have time enough to assure you 
that I am 

Yotirs very truly 

Eben? Irving. 


Long Branch, Oct. 3- 181Q. 


I wrote a few days since and sent you 
an article for the Sketch book which I had 
just received from Washington. Ch? Baldwin, 
Esq. who did me the favor of taking it prom- 
ised to deliver it to you immediately or put it 
in the Post office. Yesterday I received the 
Manuscript of N° 4 — it ought to have reached 
me on Monday evening. I expect to avail 
myself of the politeness of M- Lippincot (of 
the firm of Stephens & Lippincot) to send it 
to you with this, tomorrow. I have over- 
looked the N? and think two of the articles 
("The Mutability of Literature" and "John 
'QvlV fine — but a little doubt the reception of 
the tale which though a pretty thing and neatly 
told is still a tale. I have little doubt however 
but that nine out of ten of the female readers 
will be pleased with-it. Wash, complains in 
his letter to me of our having neglected to send 

him a copy of the work promptly; it seems 



that he was favored with the sight of a copy of 
the i^-* N? by a Gentleman who had received 
it nearly a raonth before the one sent him had 
come to hand. He wishes that copies might 
be dispatched to him before they are published 
here if practicable — ^both he and the Doctor 
are highly pleased with the style and execution. 
I am happy to hear such favorable accounts 
of the health of the City and hope I shall be 
able to return in ten or twelve days. 

Yotirs very sincerely 

Eben^ Irving. 


New York, January 2- 1824. 

DEAR sir: — 

I regret to kam that your family has 
been afflicted by ill health & that your 
professional labours have been so unfor- 
tuna,tely interrupted. I cheerfully assent to 
your request to postpone the repayment 
of the loan until the month of March & 
hasten to assure you that the repose of 
the Coturt of death is in no danger of being 
disturbed by this incident. — In the course 
of the month of March however, I shall be 
greatly obliged by a punctual return of the 
money. — 

Your idea of painting a national portrait 
of Washington is certainly an excellent one 
& in my opinion cannot fail of being suc- 
cessful. Would it not be advisable to 
associate it with some historical incident 
of his life? — Stuart's likeness has hitherto 
usurped the place of every other in public 

opinion & there is no doubt that it pos- 



sesses great merit, but it was taken after the 
mouth of the General had been distorted 
by the rude hands of the dentist, and does 
not do justice to the natural expression of his 

Yours will probably exhibit him earlier in 
life, and hence you will be enabled to remedy 
this striking defect. — 

In the picture that I possess by Pine, his 
mouth is one of the most expressive features 
and in perfect keeping with the other parts of 
his face. — ^A skilful physiognomist would in 
my opinion at once point out this glaring 
defect in Stuart's picture, without any knowl- 
edge of the original. — 

You have probably not forgotten the picture 
we saw at Paff's, said to be by Raphael. — The 
owner of it was kind enough to place it in my 
hands previously to his return to South Amer- 
ica, & I promised to use every means of ascer- 
taining its real value. — M- J. R. Murray, 

from the first, was under strong impression 



that it might be an early picture of Raphael 
& it affords me great satisfaction that his 
opinion has been confirmed in a remarkable 
manner by an Italian artist lately arrived in 
New York in the family of M^ Dale. This 
gentleman who is a very respectable profes- 
sional painter is positive that the picture is an 
undoubted Raphael. — There is a picture in the 
collection of the King of Naples, regularly 
traced from the hands of Raphael, the same 
in design, with the exception of the rag of a 
curtain in the corner of M- Seton's picture, 
which this gentleman has studied & copied. 
The copy he brought with him, & compared it 
with the picture in question, which after a 
minute examination he pronounced to be a 
genuine picture by Raphael, painted anterior 
to the one in Naples which he conceives to be 
a more mature effort of the great painter's 

Now I really think his opinion entitled to 

great weight & it will give me great pleasure 



for the sake of my f? Seton that it may be 
confirmed by fvirther testimony. — 
I am 

Dear Sir 

Very Sincerely Y? 

Henry Brevoort, J" 
Rembrandt Peale Esq. 


Philad° June 13- 1824. 

DEAR sir: — 

I was ignorant until today that you had 
answered my last letter & was uneasy from an 
apprehension that you were not pleased with 
the state of the case. — But your polite note, 
which I have just received, relieves me from 
that degree of apprehension, tho' not from the 
consequences of my not having had "my 
hopes realized." When I last wrote to you 
I had every reason to believe that Congress 
would have passed the Resolution before them. 
I learned too late that they would have passed 
it to procure the Portrait before them, but 
many of them, dissatisfied with the large 
Paintings by Trumbull, were indisposed to 
engage another without knowing what it 
might be. — Notwithstanding this, had it not 
been for the tedious Tariff Bill, it would have 
passed in the reduced form in which it was 
reported to the House — i. e. for an Eques- 
trian Portrait with an elegant frame at $3000. 



In the Senate it was proposed to give me 
$5000 without saying anything about Frame. 
It may be best on the whole that the former 
Resolution did not pass, as I shall probably be 
better remunerated — ^And I have now deter- 
mined to paint the picture the same as if it 
had been ordered, v/ith the expectation that 
on presenting to them a magnificent and 
finished Picture they will not hesitate giving 
me the largest sum. 

The Portrait is daily advancing in reputa- 
tion — & will have time before the next Session 
to be fairly established as the only authentic 
Likeness. In addition to the Testimony given 
in Washington & Baltimore (part of which has 
been published) I have received a letter from 
Bishop White who says that my "Picture is 
identified in his mind with the features, the 
countenance & the character of that great 
man." Another from Major Jackson (who 
was with him when Washington sat to Stuart) 

universally regarded as the most competent 



judge, having served as his aid — ^was Secretary 
to the Convention — lived 3 years with Wash- 
ington as his private Secretary — and travelled 
in the same Carriage with him through the 
United States. He says that "in striking 
similitude of features and characteristic ex- 
pression of countenance he considers it the 
best and most faithful Portrait of the great 
Father of his Country & that he is persuaded 
it will be gratefully appreciated by the nation. ' ' 
Another from M- Rush, the Carver, who 
"fought, worked, and eat with him" in which 
he pronotinces it " the Best likeness which he 
has seen on Canvas." Judge Peters, Judge 
Tilghman, Col: Forest & Col: M^Lane will 
give their enthusiastic and unqualified ap- 
probation to be conjoined with the above & 
those of Judge Marshall, Judge Washington, 
Col: Howard, Ed: Livingston, M- Custis, 
Ch- Carroll, Gen : Harper, Gen : Udree, Rufus 
King, &c which I have. In short, within the 
Space of three months, since which it was pro- 



duced, it has triumphed over the deepest 
prejudice that ever Portrait had to contend 
with. It was already decided that the Por- 
trait by Stuart, whose reputation was so well 
established, was destined to be transmitted 
to our posterity, as it was spread all over the 
world, as the true Hkeness — and altho' faults 
were fotmd with it by those who had known 
the Original himself, the objections did not 
spread far around them & the objectors were 
dying oflE fast. But my Portrait has united 
their testimony — enables them to designate 
the faults of the other, and they have unani- 
mously pronounced a Verdict which must 
become the law of the land. I have therefore 
been well employed in executing this painting 
— and I cannot help thinking I shall be well 
employed in making a splendid Equestrian 
Picture, altho' neither can immediately fur- 
nish me with any pecuniary assistance, much 
as I stand in need of it, with a large family of 

Girls. But it is my duty to make this effort, 



because it would be unjust to neglect the 
opportunity of profiting by so singular an 
advantage. If the general and State govern- 
ments do not reward me, I should then be 
fairly justified in renouncing my Country. 
In the meantime the little Portrait painting 
which I may procure, will barely suffice for 
my family & I am doubtful whether I can 
procure the means of extricating my Court of 
Death from its unprofitable seclusion — The 
only prospect I have is that MT Pendleton 
who will return to New York in a few weeks 
may repay you the money and take the Picture 
to England for me. 

The service you have rendered, under the. 
circumstances in which I was affected, was 
peculiarly grateful to me — and I hope will 
always be reviewed by you with satisfaction, 
when you reflect on the nature of its purpose. 
If you should not visit Philadelphia this Sum- 
mer, I hope to send my picture to New York 

in the Auttimn when you may decide upon its 



merits, at least as a Portrait in a new style — • 
which indeed is much commended. It is my 
intention to take the Original to London, 
accompanied by all its precious testimony — It 
will be a good introduction to me, in conjunc- 
tion with the commissions to paint for you 
& others the likenesses of persons whose rank 
in Society will procure me some notoriety. 

In case of your absence from the City when 
Mr Pendleton may arrive will you designate 
the manner he may act in obtaining the Pic- 
ture should it be in his power? 

Believe me with great respect 
Your most obliged 
And Obt Servt— 

Rembrandt Peale 

VOL. 11. — 24. 369 

{New York) Feb. 22^, {1825). 

MY DEAR sir: — 

I must beg of you (if you have it) to send 
me some snuff — ^no matter how old. It may 
be stale & flat but cannot be unprofitable. I 
am now confined to my room for the second 
time this season with the influenza and I have 
been for twelve hours without a pinch. It is 
bad enough in the ordinary occurrences of life 
to be at the last pinch, but I have got past 
that crisis, and my hopes are now centered in 
the first pinch of what you may send me. Poor 
Falstaff babbled of green fields in his last mo- 
ments & I find my thoughts are beginning to 
run on tobacco plantations. If you would 
save me from a Calenture send me some sus- 
tenance, were it only a "remainder biscuit." 
If you have among your books a translation of 
an old Spanish Novel called "Guzman D'Al- 
farache" written about the time of Cervantes, 
you would add much to the comforts of my 

present condition by sending it to me; and it 



would delight me much to accompany a certain 
Master Liihgow in his travels, who among all 
his privations, I dare say never wanted a pinch 
of Lundy Foot, at least while he peregrinated 
in Ireland. This last book you were good 
enough to offer me some time ago. I hope 
you have all escaped the prevailing epidemic. 
My children have all had it. My best re- 
spects to M" Brevoort. 

Very truly yours 

R. Emmet. 
H. Brevoort Esq. 


Washington City, Dec. 25- 1825. 

MY DEAR sir: — 

I will be extremely obliged to you to perform 
a commission for me in which I feel much 
personal anxiety. — 

At the strong solicitation made by Vander- 
lyn, the painter himself, I exerted my in- 
fluence last winter with the City Council of 
Charleston to obtain for him a contract to 
paint a full length likeness of Genl. Jackson. 
Under a most positive assurance on his part 
that the picture should be finished on the first 
of last May, I drew on the Council for one 
half of its price which was advanced to Van- 
derlyn. Instead of completing his contract 
he has only renewed his application for more 
money which was done last August, at that 
time promising that the picture should be 
forwarded in four weeks. Up however to the 
period of my departure the picture had not 

You will therefore do me an essential favor 


to ascertain whether he has sent the picture, 
and if it is yet unfinished be so good as to hand 
him the enclosed Letter which I leave open for 
your perusal. — 

You will be doing me a favor and rendering 
the corporation a service if Vanderlyn should 
yet be procrastinating to endeavour to appeal 
to his feelings & pride as a Gentleman should 
he have any of these impulses left. — 

With my most respectful recollections to 
Mrs. Brevoort, — 

I remain, My Dear Sir, 
Very respectfully & truly 

Your ob Svt 
J. Hamilton, Jr. 

Should Vanderlyn either be working at the 

picture, or about to ship it, in this case it 

would perhaps be best to withhold the delivery 

of my Letter, as I do not wish causelessly to 

wound his feelings. — ^You will do for me a 

friendly office if you can tu"ge him in any way 

to the fulfillment of his engagement. — 


BALTIMORE, MAY 24^5 1826 

Baltimore, May 2^- 1826. 
DEAR sir: — 

I inclose at your suggestion a proxy to vote 
for me at the next annual meeting of Stock- 
holders of the Montreal Bank which is to 
take place of 5th June next. 

You may fill up the blank in your own name 
or in that of any other individual in whom you 
may have confidence. Having the utmost 
reliance in your discretion I leave you free to 
act for me in this business after having pre- 
viously examined into the affairs of the Bank. 
I have no desire to lend myself to the views of 
any party, but if after mature deliberation it 
shall appear quite satisfactory to you that a 
change in the direction will benefit the In- 
stitution you will be pleased to act accord- 
ingly. Beggin[g] to hear from you on this 
subject on your return, I remain with respect, 
Dear Sir 

Y^ most hum. Serv- 
Ch. Carroll of Carrollton 
To Henry Brevoort, Jun', Esq. 


ROUEN, 1828 

(Peter Irving — the " Doctor " had been, as we 
recall, Brevoort's travelling companion in early 
years. He wrote, however, very rarely to Bre- 
voori, leaving most of the correspondence to 
Washington. It is thus all the more to he 
regretted that the first two pages of the following 
missive have disappeared.^ 

My brother Washington is at Seville, busily- 
occupied on some writings which are facilitated 
by his residence in Spain, and which he wishes 
to get in such a state of preparation as to be 
out of danger, before he leaves that coiintry. 
He is fearful that the writing mood may 
desert him when he gets again abroad in the 
world. He has completed an abridgment of 
his history of Columbus in one volume, and 
the manuscript was to proceed from New York 
in the Brig Francis to sail from Cadiz in about 
the last week of December. I trust it will 
have reached its destination before you get 

this letter. He was induced to make this 


ROUEN, 1828 

epitome by some articles in the New York 
American between the 20th and 30th Septem- 
ber, by which it appeared that some anony- 
mous person had announced an intention to 
take the materials from his work and publish 
an abridged life of Columbus, To protect 
his work from being garbled and mangled he 
made an epitome himself. 

I regret to send you so brief a letter after 
so long an interval, but I have several to write 
for the Packet, and the emergency occurs on a 
sudden, as my parcel must be despatched for 
Havre this evening. 

One word respecting myself before I close. 

My health has been considerably battered 

during the last ten years. I had three or four 

years of severe rheiunatism, and nearly three 

of a very troublesome headache. Fortunately 

I am at present free from both, and am passing 

the winter pretty comfortably by a snug 

fireside, surrounded by old books, in this 

venerable old city, the Capital of Upper 


ROUEN, 1828 

Normandy. I think it probable that I shall 
turn out in the spring, like a snake that has 
cast his skin, in robuster health than I have 
been for several years. 

The Steam concern in which I have an 
interest, has been doing business to a fair 
profit during the past year, and the prospects 
are also fair for the present. 

I am my dear Brevoort, with affectionate 


P. Irving. 



St. Mark's Place (8th St.) 
September 28- 1830. 


Last evening came up to see me, M- Hone 
& handed me from you the 2 Vols, in French 
of the Discussions upon the Civil Code, 8c for 
which I am greatly obliged to you. 

I believe you took with you when you went 
to France some years ago, the ist Edition of 
my Commentaries. However, whether you 
did or not, I wish you to possess the 2d which 
is a more correct and greatly enlarged &f im- 
proved Edition, and I annex an order on my 
agents (Messrs. Clayton & Van Norden) in 
whose possession they are, for a Sett for you. 
I regret to put you to the trouble of sending for 
them. They are unbound & I own none else, 
as M- Halsted no longer keeps a Bookstore 
himself, & all the Booksellers buy of them. 
You will be obliged therefore to have them 
bound (if you wish it) at Paris to suit yotu* 




I wish you a pleasant voyage and that you 
may meet your family in Health & Happiness. 

Yours most truly 

James Kent. 

Henry Brevoort, Esq. 


PARIS, 1 83 1 

DEAR sir: — 

I dined yesterday with the old Marquis de 
Marbois. I fovind myself seated, by chance, 
between Messrs. Pichon and Adet, who made, 
including our host, three ex-ministers of France 
to the U. States. Jefferson's letters were 
mentioned, and both M. de Marbois and M. 
Pichon, who were intimate with Jefferson, 
expressed a desire to see them. I could not 
offer to lend your voltmies without your per- 
mission, but you would confer a favor on me 
by granting the permission. 

The Marquis de Marbois is President of the 
Court of Accounts and a Peer. He is eighty 
years of age, and of great personal respecta- 
bility and receives once a week. He is, at all 
times, very kind to Americans, having married 
in Philadelphia. His age, official rank, and, 
above all, his kind feelings towards America 
render him a proper object of attention. It is 
quite in the course of etiquette that you should 
visit him, if you feel disposed. The result 


PARIS, 1 83 1 

wotdd be an invitation to dinner. Cuvier, 
Villemain, and a great ma^iy other men of 
similar character, are found at his table, 
besides a host of peers and deputies. I am 
rather intimate, as you may judge, having 
dined there three times in six weeks, and if 
you will give me leave I will request permis- 
sion to call on him with you, next Thursday 

I should also say that one meets, at his table, 
a great many Frenchmen well disposed to 
America, and that occasions offer to aid in 
bringing our relations in better train, than 
they are at present. Let me know your 

Yours very tnily 

J. Fenimobe Cooper. 

H. Brevoort, Esq. 

Yesterday the Marquis styled La Fayette 
the Patron of Americans at Paris, and himself 

381 , 

PARIS, 1 83 1 

the vice Patron. This was said in pleasantry, 
but it shows his disposition to be on good 
terms with us. His son-in-law, the Due de 
Plaisance (the son of Le Brun) lives with him. 


Fontainebleau, April, 1832. 

MY DEAR father: — 

I wrote by the last packet to mother — We 
are still here to avoid the cholera, which con- 
tinues to prevail at Paris; the reports of the 
last five or six days exhibit a sensible decrease 
in the ntimber of deaths. The general opinion 
here amongst the wise men is that it will 
reach America; if it does so, it will fall most 
severely upon the population of the Southern 
states, so much so, as will in all probability 
put an end to their insurrectionary schemes, 
by carrying off half their negroes. 

Margaret writes me that your health and 
your spirits are good, but that you worry 
yourself about your affairs being in an un- 
settled state & that when she tells you to spend 
your money in comforts, you stop her by say- 
ing that you are over head and ears in debt 
& so on. — ^AU this gives me pain, for you 

know, my dear father, that I cannot feel 



happy myself whilst I hear that you are 

yourself discontented, — Now, so far as I 

know on the subject of your affairs, you owe 

but two debts, I mean the bond to the heirs of 

Coster & the bond to me: the first you have 

the means of discharging whenever you Uke, 

if indeed you have not already done so — The 

other, you may also discharge in three days 

if you see fit, provided you should think it 

proper to agree to a proposal which I am about 

to make to you, — It is this — ^Ascertain from 

M- Renwick & M- Gary (for your bond is 

left in their hands) the amount that is due 

from you to me — and then convey to me as 

many of your lots as you think will discharge 

it, at your own valuation, and I pledge myself 

to be satisfied with your own award, he it what 

it may. The only condition that I would ask 

is that the Lots shall be in a body, but they 

may be taken from any part of your ground 

that you choose to select. The reason of my 

making this request arises from a sort of pro- 



ject that I sometimes entertain, of building a 
larger house for my large family, if it should 
please God we return to America in safety; 
& I might probably see fit to do it upon the 
ground that has so long belonged to our family, 
in preference to any other. — I hope you fully 
imderstand my intentions in making this pro- 
posal to you & that my motive originates in a 
wish to remove from your mind any source of 
discontent that lies within my own power. I 
hope too, that you understood my motives in 
refusing to purchase the lots you offered to me 
before I left America. — I refused to take them, 
because I felt afraid that in. the event of their 
rising in value (which was next to certain) 
that I might be accused of having taken an 
ungenerous advantage of your necessities, 
in order to benefit myself. — I told you then, 
what I now repeat, that so far as you & I were 
concerned, all might be adjusted in a moment, 
without any fear of after disputes or bitter re- 
trospections ; but as others felt they had rights 

VOL. II. 25. 385 


& claims in the business, I felt myself too 
delicately situated to yield to your wishes. — 
I am glad that I did so. — In case you see fit 
to settle our affairs in the manner now pro- 
posed, I request you to give the deed to M! 
R or M- Gary & request that it may be 
recorded. — 

I have been much gratified to learn that you 
are pleased with Elias' wife, & from all I have 
heard, she seems worthy of your kind feelings. 
As to Elias, he has always shown himself to 
be possessed of dutiful and affectionate feel- 
ings toward all of his family that are worthy 
of it. He is a man of principle and I feel 
towards him the warmest attachment. — If 
he has not shown himself active & enterprising, 
the fault is as much owing to the manner in 
which he has been brought up as to his nature 
— ^but the truth is he has never yet had it in 
his power to act upon his own responsibility, 
and give proofs of what he is capable of doing. 

I have written to him & given my opinion 



against undertaking a large fanning estab- 
lishment for the present, but rather to under- 
take upon a smaller scale the cultivation of 
fruits & a nursery, which would be fotind a 
more profitable as well as agreeable scheme. 
If the grounds that you possess are not un- 
fitted for such a purpose, I do wish you 
would (tmtil something better adapted can 
be procvired) allow him to cultivate them 
in such a manner as he likes, uncontrolled 
— The rent that might be required from 
him, I will guarantee shall be paid to you. 
— I can send him from France Grape vines 
& any other things that might be useful if 

The boys were well and happy in Switzer- 
land the last time that we heard from them. 
The little girls are all. with us. — ^With mine & 
Latira's kindest regards to you all, I remain, 
my dear Father, 

ever affectionately your son 

Henry Brevoort, Jr. 



N. B. 

I request that you send me an answer to this 
letter as soon as you conveniently can. — 
Elias will be your secretary. 



New York, Sept. 28'^ 1833. 
I enclose you, My Deax Sir, the letter of Sir 
Walter Scott which some ten years since I 
rescued from a heap of rubbish in my Father's 
garret. I have set a great value upon it, 
not Only from its being an autograph of one so 
illustrious, but that it bore testimony at so 
early a day of the talents of my Uncle Wash- 
ington. As I cannot, however, dispute your 
better title to it, I send it to you, venturing 
at the same time to express a hope that it may 
at a future day return to some one of our name. 
I am, 
My Dear Sir 

With much respect 

Very truly yours 

Pierre" P. Irving 

H. Brevoort, Jr., Esq. 


New York, Oct. 8'-^ 1833. 

MY DEAR sir: — 

I I take the liberty to present to you Captain 
Alfred Mordecai, of our army — the number 
one, of his year at West Point. His amiable 
qualities, no less than his high professional 
distinction, induce me to ask you to receive 
him as one of [our] countrymen the most en- 
titled to consideration. 
i Hoping that you will have had a happy 
meeting with your family, 

I remain, with great esteem, 
Yrs. very truly 

WiNFiELD Scott. 

Henry Brevoort, Esq', 


PARIS, MAY 23d 1834 

Paris le 2j mai, 1834. 
messieurs: — 

C'est avec le sentiment de la plus respectu- 
euse reconnaissance, que j'ai regu la lettre que 
vous m'avez fait I'honneur de m'adresser, 
au moment ou ma famille et moi, nous venions 
de perdre le p^re venerable et tendrement 
aime, que le ciel nous avoit donn6. — 

Aprds avoir combl6 de satisfaction et de 

gloire, la vieillesse de celui qui avait eu le bon- 

hetir de leur consacrer ses plus jeunes ann6es, les 

citoyens des 6tats-unis, vont pleurer avec nous 

sur son tombeau, et ces larmes seront pour sa 

memoire, une pr6cieuse recompense, de sa 

fidelity aux convictions qu'il avoit rapportees 

de la terre classique de la liberty. — Ces larmes 

seront avidemment recueillies par ses enfans, 

et petitsenfans. EUes leior donneront du 

courage potir supporter lettr malheur, de la 

force potur marcher d'tm pas ferme et assure, 

dans la route qu'a toujours suivie, celui qui 

a su les meriter. — 


PARIS, MAY 23d 1834 

I Messieiirs, votre sympathle adoucit notre 
affliction, elle r6pand un beatune salutaire, 
sur nos coeurs bris6s par la douleur. — 

Recevez rhommage de notre respectueuse 
gratitude. — 

George W. Lafayette 
A Monsietir Henry Brevoort, 

et les membres du Comity Ara6ricain 

(Translation of Lafayette's Letter) 

Paris,' May 2j- 1834. 

Gentlemen: — 

: It was with the sentiment of most respectful 

gratitude that I received the letter which you 

did us the honor to address to me, just after 

my family and I had lost the venerable and 

tenderly loved father whom Heaven had 

granted to us. 

I After having heaped satisfaction and glory 

on the old age of him who had the good 

fortune to consecrate his most youthful years 

to them, the citizens of the United States 


PARIS, MAY 23d 1834 

now weep with us over his tomb, and their 
tears in his memory will be a precious reward 
for his fidelity to the convictions which he 
had brought from the classic land of liberty. 
— These tears will be gladly gathered up by 
his children and grandchildren. They will 
give them courage to support their misfortune, 
strength to march with firm and assured step 
along the road that was ever followed by him 
who knew how to deserve these tears. — 

Gentlemen, your sympathy softens our 
affliction and spreads a salutary balm on our 
grief-shattered hearts. — 

Accept the homage of our respectful grati- 

George W. Lafayette 

To Mr. Henry Brevoort 

and the Members of the American 



20 Broadway, Sept. 8- 1836. 

Col? Trumbull presents his respects to M' 
Brevoort & begs him to accept an Engraving 
of Gen! Washington, done from a pictxire 
painted by him, many years since. 


NEW YORK, APRIL 24th 1843 

New York, April 24- 1843. 
Henry Brevoort, Esq. 

DEAR sir: — 

A Committee has this day been appointed 
by the Vestry of Grace Church authorized to 
negotiate for a plot of ground for the ptirpose 
of erecting thereon a Church for that Congre- 
gation. And as Chairman of that Com: I 
am directed to enquire from you the price you 
would ask for 125 feet on the east side of Broad- 
way between ioth& nth Streets by 140 feet 
in depth with a guaranty that the Church be 
held harmless from any assessments that the 
said plot might be subject to, in case of the 
contemplated opening of nth Street from 
Broadway to the Bowery, and in that event 
giving to the Vestry the priviledge of taking 
at the same rate the square foot the gore on 
Broadway to i ith Street. 

The Vestry being desirous of immediate 

purchase, and having other sites in view I 


NEW YORK, APRIL 24«! 1843 

would ask an answer at your earliest con- 

Your Ob. S5 

David Austin, 



NEW YORK, APRIL 25^^ 1843 

New York, April 25- 1843. 
David Austin, Esq. 
DEAR sir: — 

In reply to your note of the 24th ins* I beg 
to say, that the heirs of my late father are will- 
ing to sell to the Vestry of Grace Church, the 
plot of ground on the east side of Broad Way 
between 10 & 11 Streets, 125 feet front in said 
B'? Way, by 140 feet in depth — adjoining the 
marble yard at the Comer of 10 S* & B"? Way 
for the sum of ^35000 & they (the heirs) will 
stipulate that nothing in the shape of a nui- 
sance shall be erected upon the gore of land 
lying north of the above plot of ground & the 
Comer of 11 S-; but they will not guaranty 
that Grace Church shall be held harmless from 
any assessment that the said plot may be 
subject to in case 11 S- should hereafter be 
opened from Broad Way to the Bowery. — 
I remain 

Y^ Obt. St. 

H, Brevoort.